My father is a humble man, a believer in helping others, particularly those in need. He would never brag on himself, but I sure can!
My parents, Dr. Joe Outten and Millie, moved to Greenville SC in 1954 where Dad was stationed at Donaldson Air Force Base. Following his discharge, he set up a private practice in Greenville, Dental Associates, where he practiced dentistry for 40 years.
Dad has always been devoted to his patients and passionate about the care they received. He is passionate about making sure the broader community has appropriate access to dental care. His passion led him to the Head Start Program, where he volunteered to evaluate and direct the care of needy children in the community.
After retirement, he continued to donate his time to the Head Start Program to ensure at-risk children continued to receive the dental care that they needed, without cost. While he does not brag, he was humbled to receive the National Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Head Start Foundation.
Still having more to give, he convinced the Free Medical Clinic in Greenville, SC to provide dental services to needy families. He worked tirelessly to raise the capital and equipment to furnish the dental space within the clinic building and set his sights on recruiting his peers to volunteer their time as well. I remember Dad telling us about presenting this idea at a Greenville Dental Society meeting and how pleased he was that more than 80% of dentists in attendance signed up to support such a noble cause. Dad received awards from both the American Dental Association and the South Carolina Dental Association for his contribution to the impoverished citizens of South Carolina.
In 1999, he was again humbled and surprised when he was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian honor awarded in the state of South Carolina.
While Dad says he is retired, I can attest that he is far from sitting on the beach while others do the hard work. He remains active in the community, with his family, and within the profession that he has so cherished since graduating from dental school.
Today, he serves as Chairman of the Board for the Dental Advocacy Group, ensuring that our mission and vision statements are fulfilled to the benefit of all those who tirelessly serve in the industry.