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Visionary alumna earns one of the highest honours in Manitoba’s oral health profession

June 2, 2015 — 

Melanie Wood will receive this year’s Alumni of Distinction honour, a prestigious award given by the University of Manitoba Dental Alumni Association (UMDAA) and the U of M’s College of Dentistry. She is the first woman to win the award in its 17-year history.

“Dr. Wood has had a long and very active career in many different aspects of our profession and has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues in the process,” says Dr. Danielle Jobb, president of the UMDAA. “I am also very excited as she becomes the first female to be honoured with this prestigious award.”

Over the course of a career that has spanned over three decades, Dr. Wood has been extensively involved in many different aspects of the profession, including education and administration. For almost the entire length of her 37-year career, Dr. Wood served as a part-time instructor at the College of Dentistry, greatly influencing her students.

Dr. Wood was the only female in her class when she graduated in 1977 with honours. She also earned the John W. Clay Gold Medal (Western Canada Dental Society), which is awarded to the student with the highest cumulative Grade Point Average throughout the four-year dental program.

Dr. Wood maintained extensive involvement with the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB). The NDEB is the governing body for the national standard of competence for general practitioners in Canada. Since signing on with the NDED in 1994, Dr. Wood now serves as Chief Examiner for the assessment of clinical skills. From 2001 – 2008, Dr. Wood served as the NDEB representative to Canadian Commission on Accreditation, ensuring standards are consistently met by dental schools in Canada and the United States.

Dr. Wood holds memberships in no fewer than 9 professional organizations, including the International College of Dentists, the Pierre Fauchard Academy, and the American College of Dentists – a rarity among Canadian practitioners.

Closer to home, Dr. Wood has also been extensively involved in the development and administration of the profession in Manitoba. This includes a one-year term as president of the Winnipeg Dental Society, after serving seven years as a member of the group’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Wood has also held many posts within the framework of the Manitoba Dental Association, the membership services and regulatory body in the province. With the Xi Psi Phi Dental Fraternity Alumni, Dr. Wood spent four years on the Board of Directors and later served as President in 1981.

Outside of the profession, Dr. Wood has served in a volunteer capacity for many different groups and organizations including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, and the Manitoba Naturalists Society.

Dr. Wood will be presented with the honour at the annual Alumni of Distinction Awards Evening, slated for October 2, at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg.


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