Awards & Honors
Drs. Patricia L. Blanton and Bettye M. Whiteaker-Hurt have been named the 2008 Periodontics Distinguished Alumni from HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. Dr. William W. Hallmon, then professor and chair of periodontics, presented the awards at a reception Dec. 4 at Baylor University Medical Center’s A. Webb Roberts Hospital in Dallas.
Both recipients demonstrate remarkable leadership and professional accomplishments. They exemplify the award’s criteria, having distinguished themselves as outstanding scholars, clinicians and leaders in the specialty of periodontics regionally, nationally and internationally.
Dr. Patricia L. Blanton received her Ph.D. in anatomy from Baylor University and her dental degree and certificate in periodontics from HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry.
She has spent most of her professional career at the college, where she currently is professor emeritus in biomedical sciences. In addition to numerous academic positions and professional appointments, Blanton practices periodontics and implantology full time.
Blanton is a regent of the American College of Dentists, a member of the American Dental Association president’s task force to study the Commission on Dental Accreditation, a delegate to the ADA and a consultant for the Texas Dental Association. She has held numerous past positions with the ADA, TDA and the Dallas County Dental Society. She served as the first female president of the TDA.
Blanton’s awards and recognitions include nomination to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame for health and research, the Baylor College of Dentistry Distinguished Alumni Award, the DCDS Dentist of the Year Award, DCDS Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Association of Women Dentists’ 2008 Woman Dentist of the Year/Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award, and the Commanders Award from the Europe Regional Dental Command. The HSC-BCD biomedical sciences library also has been named in her honor.
In awarding Blanton as a distinguished alumnus, Hallmon said, “Dr. Blanton is commended for her enthusiasm and devotion to the pursuit of excellence on every front.”
Dr. Bettye M. Whiteaker-Hurt received her dental degree and certificate in periodontics from HSC-BCD and her M.S.D. from Baylor University. She was the first female recipient of the Gold Medal for Scholastic Achievement Award and the first female graduate of the college’s periodontics residency program. In 2001, she was appointed clinical assistant professor in periodontics after her retirement from private practice.
Whiteaker-Hurt is a longstanding director of the executive committee for the Baylor Oral Health Foundation. She has served as president of the board of directors of the Alumni Association and as a member of the board of trustees. She has held numerous positions in the Dallas County Dental Society, including past president. Whiteaker-Hurt has endowed at least three scholarship funds that bear her name, including one for periodontics graduate students at HSC-BCD that has awarded 27 recipients to date. She and Dr. William Hurt founded an endowed chair in periodontics in 2006. She also is the major contributor of the periodontal resident endowed fund, which facilitates resident education.
Whiteaker-Hurt’s accolades include the Baylor College of Dentistry Distinguished Alumni Award, the Texas Academy of General Dentistry’s Award of Excellence and the Texas Dental Association Honorable Order of Good Fellow Award. She was inducted into the HSC-BCD Hall of Fame in 2005.
Hallmon said Whiteaker-Hurt is deserving of the 2008 award because “her remarkable leadership, insight, ability to communicate, superb professional ability and genuine concern and sensitivity for her fellow human beings are exceedingly rare in today's world.”