Someone once said, “volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.” Laurie definitely has the heart of a volunteer. She steps up and helps in whatever capacity she is needed. Since she joined the Alliance over 22 years ago, Laurie has held numerous local, state and national positions. She is currently serving as a Vice President to her local Alliance, Local Arrangements Chair for the Tennessee state dental meeting and Chair of the national Membership Committee. She has been local president four times and also State President. She is a committed, creative and caring leader.
Laurie is committed to promoting the mission of dental health education by overseeing and participating in the numerous local projects, dental health fairs and fundraisers that support local dental health endeavors each year. Laurie is also an encourager, she has invited our local members to dental meetings and gotten us involved in state and national projects. Projects include; distributing children’s dental health books to local agencies and the national Head-to-Toe project. She is always exploring new ways the Alliance can serve our community. Next on her list is an “Adopt a School” program in which we would help one particular school in need throughout the year. Laurie’s commitment to dental health extends beyond the scope of the Alliance as she and her husband, Dr. John Osborn, have been frequent volunteers with Remote Area Medical (RAM) for more than 20 years. In that time she has helped provide free dental care in dozens of RAM expeditions throughout Tennessee and as far away as Haiti and the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.
Laurie is creative in finding new ways to bring our dental community together. Last year she organized a Christmas social at the home of one of our members. It was so enjoyable that some wanted to repeat the event for Valentine’s Day. While seeking input from everyone in the group, Laurie is continually looking for more ideas that will help add new members and keep current members involved. Some recent ideas have included: adjusting meeting times and places to accommodate young mothers with small children, revising our meeting formats to allow more time for social interaction, and scheduling other events that allow dental couples to meet together. Laurie’s enthusiasm for the mission of the Alliance is contagious and inspiring to all of us. She not only cares about the Alliance as a whole, she cares about the individuals and their families as well.
Each year the Alliance of the ADA recognizes outstanding members with the Thelma J. Neff Distinguished Service Award during the AADA Convention. The recipients, who have been members for more than ten years, are chosen for their significant contributions in the areas of leadership, dental health education, legislative advocacy, and the well being of the dental family.