UTHealth School of Dentistry at Houston Assistant Professor Ruth Conn, RDH, MSDH, is the 2017 winner of the Greater Houston Dental Hygienists’ Association Esther Wilkins Award. The award is sponsored by Procter & Gamble and includes a cash prize and engraved crystal plaque.

Candidates are nominated by their peers, and the winner is selected on the basis of participation in dental hygiene activities and involvement in the community or social service organizations.

The award is named for the late Dr. Esther Wilkins, a periodontist and certified dental hygienist who wrote Clinical Practice of the Dental Hygienist, a textbook first published in 1959 and still in use today. Wilkins helped establish standards for dental hygiene education and practice. She died in 2016 at the age of 100.