Rob Doherty is the recipient of the Janet Reaves Community Achievement Award.

The chief dental director at Greene County Health Care, which includes the J.D. Bernstein Center in Greenville, has been honored as an innovator in the field of community-based dentistry.

The North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative named Rob Doherty as the recipient of the Janet Reaves Community Achievement Award. The award is named for a woman who worked statewide to improve the health of those with chronic disease.

In her memory, and to highlight the connection between oral and systemic health, the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative sponsored the first Janet Reaves Community Achievement Award this year.

The award was initially supposed to be presented during lunch at the North Carolina Community Health Center Association’s Clinical Conference on Quality and Chronic Disease in April, but the conference was canceled due to COVID-19.

Instead, association members met virtually with Doherty to discuss his lifetime of service and what the award means to him.

According to a news release from the collaborative, Doherty has worked throughout career to increase access to quality oral health care for underserved communities.

“From spearheading new approaches to school-based dentistry to pushing the envelope to offer more services from a public health setting, Dr. Doherty has shown that hard work, dedication, and collaboration can achieve incredible results,” the release said.

Doherty said that many of the accomplishments for which he was honored have been due to collaboration with Dr. John Morrow, the former director of the Pitt County Health Department, Dr. Greg Chadwick dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine, and Lou Jean Manning of the Eddie Smith Foundation.

“Our work in the public schools of Greene and Pitt Counties has been supported by Katie Eyes at Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation and Stacy Warren at the Duke Endowment,” Doherty said.

“Since our program is providing just under 33,000 dental visits per year to exclusively low income adults and children in need, it was nice to get some recognition for it, along with all the people who have been supporting it,” Doherty said. “Our staff includes a number of ECU School of Dental Medicine graduates and they are living the mission of the school in their work here — we could not have met our area’s need so effectively without them.”

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