Dr. Jason Parker of New Orleans, La., was named this year’s recipient of the New Dentist Award during the 128th Annual Session of the Louisiana Dental Association (LDA) on April 12, 2008, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.
The New Dentist Award is given to an individual member who has been in practice for less than 10 years, and who has made an outstanding contribution of his time and talents for the betterment of mankind. Such contributions include civic involvement, public service and unselfish devotion to the dental profession.
Dr. Parker received his bachelor’s degree in biology and a business administration minor from Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. After completing his pediatric dental residency from Louisiana State University School of Dentistry, Parker began private practice in 2001 with offices in Metairie and Slidell.
Parker has been a member of the LDA, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the New Orleans Dental Association (NODA) for seven years.
He has served LDA and NODA in many capacities, including serving as a delegate at the House of Delegates Annual Legislative Session, on the NODA Conference Committee, on the LDA Council on Communications, and on the LDA Council on Governmental Affairs. He was appointed to the NODA Board of Governors and he is the second vice president of NODA. Parker was bestowed the honor of “2004 New Dentist Award of Excellence” by NODA.
From 2000-2004 Parker personally funded and also secured Rotary International Grants for an abroad dental project between the Rotary Club of the West Bank of New Orleans and the Rotary Club of Ocho Rios, Jamaica that was affectionately named “Smiles from N.O. to Ocho.” This project enabled Parker and his dental team to provide comprehensive dental care to thousands of children in Jamaica that otherwise may not have been able to receive it.
Parker has worked tirelessly to rebuild National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM) in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
While serving as NODA’s Chairman of Children’s Dental Health Month, he volunteered, set up, or helped raise money for events city wide at Children’s Hospital, the Louisiana Children’s Museum, Audubon Zoo, ABC Wide World of Sports three on three basketball regional championship, and Lakeside Mall, to name a few. He organized and promoted NODA’s sponsorship of the popular children’s band Imagination Movers’ CD release party who have since moved on to nation wide fame through the Walt Disney Corporation.
Parker helped facilitate proclamations from the state of Louisiana governor’s office and from the mayors of New Orleans and Slidell in recognition of NCDHM. Over the years, he has spread the word about the importance of children’s dentistry on local and nationwide televi¬sion and radio stations through live satellite media tours and numerous other media events. Parker was instrumental in making the ADA’s centerpiece “Give Kids A Smile” a success in New Orleans.
He worked with Operation Blessing Medical Volunteer Corps to set up a clinic for underprivileged children and delivered comprehen¬sive dental care to more than 100 children in the most dev¬astated and underserved areas of east New Orleans for NODA’ s “Give Kids A Smile ” project post-Katrina. He has recently been asked to be a guest speaker in June at the ADA’s Annual “Give Kids A Smile” Symposium in Chicago.
Parker assisted and played a major role in the American Dental Association’s documentary titled “Hurricane Katrina and Dentistry”. This film portrayed the disaster, effects and impact of Hurricane Katrina on the dental profession in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region. He was invited to San Francisco, Ca. to speak at the ADA Annual Session alongside Barbara Walters to report on the status of the dental profession two years post Katrina.
Parker has been or currently is on the medical staff at East Jefferson Hospital, Doctor’s Hospital, Tulane Hospital for Children, Northshore Regional Medical Center, West Jefferson Medical Center and Children’s Regional Hospital.
Parker’s professional memberships also include the Southwestern Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Louisiana Pediatric Dental Association, the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association, English Turn Property Owners Association and the American Society of Dentistry for Children.
As a community leader, Parker has also served as a donor, sponsor or volunteer at Zoo To Do, Zoo to Do 4 Kids, Lark in the Park, Boo at the Zoo, Children’s Hospital Radiothon/Telethon, SPCA’s Howling Success Gala and House of Blues Young Musician’s Foundation. He personally raised nearly $7,000 for neonatal research for the 2007 March of Dimes Gala. He was inducted as an honoree for his contribution and was appointed to the board of directors for the March of Dimes. Parker is currently planning a possible joint effort with the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Hornets for separate dental events to provide oral hygiene check-ups, dental care and a fun filled afternoon at the respective games for underserved children in the New Orleans area hopefully somewhere in the near future.
He has given numerous lectures on pediatric sports dentistry and pediatric oral pathology at continuing education conferences around the country.
Most recently, Parker was selected as one of 25 pediatric dentists from around the country to participate in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation’s Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Leadership Institute II at the prestigious Kellogg School of Management.
In his spare time Parker enjoys live music venues, the great restaurants of NOLA, training for triathlons, snow skiing, diving and traveling.