Linda DeVore Dental Hygiene Alumni Award: Susan Camardese, RDH, MS '06

Susan Camardese, RDH, MSThis award is named for Linda DeVore, RDH, MA and recognizes a dental hygiene alumnus of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry who represents the integrity, intellectual curiosity, community-mindedness, and leadership epitomized by Ms. DeVore. Now in its sixth year, the award honors Susan Camardese, RDH, MS '06, for her exceptional achievements improving access to oral health care for children and educating the dental profession about child abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking.  

Camardese received a certificate in Dental Hygiene from Howard University in Washington, D.C., a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD) in 2005.

Camardese began her career in private practices throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C., but her career focus changed toward public health with her employment at Children’s National Health System in Washington, D.C., when she was afforded the opportunity to work with many national advocates for improving access to oral health for children.

While at Children’s National, Camardese co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness (PANDA) Coalition. The Mid-Atlantic PANDA Coalition (MAP) is a volunteer-run continuing education course designed to educate dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and others about the problems of child abuse and neglect, bullying, intimate partner violence, elder abuse and neglect, and human trafficking. As President of MAP, she solicited the Maryland State Board of Dental Examiners (MSBDE) seeking perpetual licensure requirements for Maryland dentists and hygienists for abuse and neglect CE. After many years of campaigning, the CE requirement came to fruition in 2009. Since then, more than 200 volunteer trainers have provided programs in every county in Md. In addition, Camardese was able to create a corporate CE webinar for out-of-state practitioners to participate.

The MAP program continues to be a preeminent leader in abuse and neglect education for dentists and dental hygienists both in Maryland and nationwide. The coalition has grown under Camardese’s leadership and become a stakeholder/collaborator in supporting legislation for the protection and well-being of victims of abuse and neglect in the state.

Because of her work with PANDA and MAP, Camardese has been afforded the opportunity to co-author articles about human trafficking, abuse and other related topics, as well as a chapter in Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice; 4th Edition, Darby/Walsh. 2015 (and soon to be published 5th edition) on Abuse and Neglect.

As Camardese’s public health career evolved, she had the opportunity to work at Chase Brexton Health Services, Howard County, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). As part of her clinical duties, she was asked to help establish the school sealant program in Howard County, which included development of an oral health education module. She also developed a Head Start screening program in Howard County and WIC screenings both in Howard County and for a time in Baltimore County.

Over the years, she has been a preceptor/mentor to many dental hygiene students both at UMSOD and Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC). She has served and contributed to the Maryland Oral Health Plan, served as president for the Howard County Dental Hygienists’ Association, and is a member of the Maryland Dental Action Coalition.