Update on the Knutson Award

John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award

in Dental Public Health

To be presented during the 135th APHA Annual Meeting Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2007


Brian A. Burt, BDS, MPH, PhD



The awardee, Brian A. Burt, BDS, MPH, PhD, is professor emeritus, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health; and professor emeritus, School of Dentistry, at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


Dr. Burt has distinguished himself in multiple capacities in dental public health, including conducting research, lecturing, consulting, publishing, editing and mentoring public health students. It is well recognized that Dr. Burt is responsible for many of our young, energetic dental public health leaders today, some of whom are current directors in various entities of the Dental Public Health community including academia, government, and other public and private organizations.  As a researcher he has been a principal investigator in many ground-breaking studies and has published more than 200 scientific articles, reports, and book chapters. Dr. Burt is the lead editor of “The Dentist, Dental Practice, and the Community” now in its 6th edition (2005); this textbook is an essential resource in the field and read widely by students, educators, and practitioners in dental, medical and public health fields.  He also has served for many years as a sharp-minded reviewer and editor of leading journals of our professional field.  Since 1997 he has been editor of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology.  He has also served as president of the American Board of Dental Public Health.


Dr. Burt’s contribution to the field of public health through research, service, and teaching and mentoring has been well recognized by many other organizations, including the H. Trendly Dean Award for Research Excellence from the International Association for Dental Research and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.


Throughout his illustrious career, Dr. Burt has worked actively to improve the quality of life through improved oral health for millions of people around the world and is particularly deserving of this award.



John W. Knutson was the first dentist to be president of APHA.  He collaborated with Klein in the 1937-47 Hagerstown studies of the epidemiology of dental caries.  In the 1940s he studied outcomes of dental referral programs and systematically researched topical fluoride effectiveness.  He made seminal contributions to the understanding and implementation of the roles of dental health and dentistry in public health.


The John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award has been presented each year since 1982 to honor an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to improve oral health in the United States. Its recipients have demonstrated sustained and exemplary accomplishments in the field of dental public health. An award of $1,500 is provided by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals of the Colgate-Palmolive Company. An inscribed silver tray commemorating the occasion is presented by members of the APHA Oral Health Section.



Previous Recipients of the John W Knutson

Distinguished Service Award


John Brown


James Cecil


Charles Gish


Dushanka Kleinman


Esther Colchamiro


Robert Mecklenburg


Alice Horowitz


Viron Diefenbach


Myron Allukian


John Greene


Dennis Leverett


Naham Cons


Herschel Horowitz


Carl Sebelius


Clifton Dummet


Philip Blackerby


Max Schoen


John Frankel


Martha Fales


Walter Pelton


Donald Gallagan


David Striffler


James Dunning


David Ast



Members of the 2006-2007 APHA Oral Health Section

Awards Committee

Ronald Romero, Chair

Andréa Azevedo

Charla Lautar

Larry Hill

John Brown