Dr. Eugene Sandler, an emeritus professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, recently received the University’s Ned Brooks Award for Public Service.
The award honors the achievements of Dr. Ned Brooks, clinical associate professor of health policy and management and UNC-Chapel Hill faculty member since 1972. Brooks helped develop the University’s Carolina Center for Public Service, among his other community-oriented achievements.
The Ned Brooks Award recognizes a University faculty or staff member who has, over his or her entire career, encouraged others to participate in community service, directly provided community service and/or mentored individuals who demonstrated an interest in serving the community.
Sandler joined the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty in 1979, directing what was then a new ambulatory care dental program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The program became the Orange County Health Department’s Dental Health Services Division, and Sandler served as dental director for Carrboro and Hillsborough for 26 years.
From 1993 until his retirement at the end of 2007, Sandler directed the Dentistry in Service to Communities (DISC) program. With his encouragement, dental students formed ENNEAD, a student-led volunteer organization that sends the school’s students to communities throughout the state to provide patient treatment and oral health education.
Dr. Ronald Strauss, the University’s executive associate provost and longtime dental school faculty member, nominated Sandler for the honor.
“ ‘Awesome’ will always be the way he is remembered by his students, for Dr. Sandler set the highest standards for them and it was so obvious how he really cared about them,” Strauss wrote in his nomination.
“Dr. Sandler continued to visit extramural sites and communicated the goals and objectives of the rotations to the adjunct faculty at those sites. Therefore, the experience the students received at the sites will ultimately result in opportunities for future students and for entire communities throughout North Carolina, and underserved communities will continue to receive care because of his efforts to implement community-based programs.”
The Carolina Center for Public Service’s awards ceremony was held April 16 at the Carolina Club. In concluding her presentation of the Ned Brooks Award, center director Dr. Lynn Blanchard announced that Sandler’s son Frank and his family had made a contribution to the center in honor of Sandler.
The award comes with a plaque and monetary gift.