Columbus pediatric dentist receives Ohio Dental Association Callahan Memorial Award

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2021

Dr. Paul Casamassimo has been a leader in academics, organized dentistry and providing care to those in need. In recognition of his efforts, he received the 2021 Ohio Dental Association Callahan Memorial Award on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Callahan Celebration of Excellence, held in conjunction with the 155th ODA Annual Session.

Casamassimo received his DDS from Georgetown University in 1974 and his MS in pediatric dentistry from the University of Iowa in 1976.

After teaching at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry for 10 years, he became the chief of dentistry at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, a position he held until 2015. He served as president of the medical staff in 1999. He also served as chair of the Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry from 1991 to 2015 and as president of the Dental Faculty Practice from 2009-2017.

He currently serves as a professor emeritus at the OSU College of Dentistry and is on the active medical staff at nationwide Children’s Hospital. He also serves as a policy consultant with the State of Ohio Department of Medicaid. He is the chief policy officer of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in Chicago.

Casamassimo’s career has focused mainly on education and hospital care, oftentimes with more complicated patients in those settings such as children with special needs or severe illnesses who have limited access to care.

Casamassimo has also been actively involved in research throughout his career. His research interests include oral health of children and adults with special health care needs, health services research, and oral health disparity.

He has authored or edited over 450 publications in the areas of pediatric dentistry, care of children with special health care needs, and dental education, including three books.

Casamassimo has also been dedicated to organized dentistry throughout his career.

He has served on several councils and committees with the Columbus Dental Society, Ohio Dental Association and American Dental Association. He served as president of the Columbus Dental Society in 2008 and of the Ohio Dental Association in 2014. Casamassimo is also actively involved with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and has served on many councils and committees, and as president in 2000-01.

Casamassimo has served as editor or editor emeritus of several publications including “Pediatric Dentistry,” “Journal of Dentistry for the Handicapped” and “Journal of Dentistry for Children.”

Casamassimo has received many awards and honors, including the AAPD Distinguished Service Award the ODA Humanitarian Award, the Merle C. Hunter Award for Service from AAPD, the AAPD Manuel Album Award, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Career Contribution Award, the ODA Distinguished Dentist Award and the ADA’s Norton M. Ross Award for Clinical Research. He has also received a Presidential Citation for the AAPD, was named Pediatric Dentist of the Year by the AAPD in 2012 and was named Ron Bell Mentor of the Year by the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in 2016.

The Callahan Memorial Award Commission was established in 1920 by the ODA to honor the work of John Ross Callahan, one of Ohio’s noted dental researchers and a leader in organized dentistry. Since its establishment, the award has continued to grow in prominence in the dental profession.


Contact: David Owsiany, ODA executive director

Phone: (614) 486-2700


Photo available upon request.