The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is pleased to announce that AGD President Merlin Ohmer, DDS, MAGD, was recently awarded the James Frank Collins Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida Academy of General Dentistry (FLAGD). The award is presented annually to an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of excellence in general dentistry. The recipient of the award must be a member of FLAGD in good standing and is nominated by FLAGD’s membership. Ohmer, who was recently installed as AGD’s president, has been a longtime member of the FAGD.
“Dr. Ohmer is a well-deserving recipient and is a true testament to AGD’s mission of “advancing general dentistry and oral health through quality continuing education and advocacy,” said John Gammichia, DMD, FAGD, FLAGD vice president.
The James Frank Collins Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes outstanding members of the FLAGD who have made significant contributions to the profession. The award is named after James Frank Collins, DDS, who was a dedicated advocate for the advancement of general dentistry. Dr. Collins was the first general dentist from FLAGD who was installed as AGD president, serving in this role from 1996 to 1997.
Ohmer was selected as recipient of this year’s award based on his exceptional service to general dentistry. At AGD, Ohmer has served as a member of the Self-Instruction Committee — which writes CE exercises for General Dentistry articles, enabling members to receive CE credit — and was followed by an appointment to the Fellowship Exam Committee in 2017. He was also selected for the Governmental Evaluation and Reform Committee in 2019, where he and other committee members analyzed AGD’s governance structure and suggested reforms to increase efficiency and nimbleness across all governance areas in AGD. In 2019, he was also selected to serve as an AGD spokesperson, promoting AGD and general dentistry to the news media and general public.
Ohmer served as a board member, continuing education director, vice president and president of the Florida AGD. He served as Region 20 regional director for one year and as a trustee for Region 20 in 2020 until his election as AGD vice president in 2021.
He graduated in 1975 from Nicholls State University in his hometown of Thibodaux, Louisiana, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1979 from the Louisiana State University School of Dentistry while in the U.S. Army Reserve. He then spent three years on active duty in the U.S. Army, stationed at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia. After release from active duty in 1982, he served in the Louisiana National Guard as a major and practiced in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, until 1989, when he returned to active duty in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps as a lieutenant commander. He retired as a captain in 2016 after 30 years of active military service. He then opened a solo practice in St. Augustine, Florida, where he practiced until 2022.
In addition to his work with AGD, Ohmer is a member of the American Dental Association, a fellow in the International College of Dentists, a fellow in the American College of Dentists, a fellow in the Pierre Fauchard Society and a member of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. He received his Mastership from AGD in 2015.
Ohmer will serve as president until Nov. 24, 2024.
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