Dr. Gene Paxton Lewis dies; he was a leader in public health dentistry in Kentucky and the nation

Dr. Gene Paxton Lewis, a dentist who did the first survey of Kentucky’s oral health and helped create the state’s oral health coalition and its first mobile dental office, died Feb. 12 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was 78.

“Lewis spent more than 20 years with the U.S. Public Health Service, and
much of that time was spent helping develop community health centers,
colleges focusing on health professions and other initiatives in
Kentucky and other southeastern states,” Karla Ward reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Lewis served as president of the American Board of Dental Public Health and the American Association of Public Health Dentists.

At the University of Kentucky, Lewis was chairman
of the Department of Community Dentistry and interim dean of the
College of Dentistry. After serving as executive assistant to the state health commissioner, he oversaw the college’s public and professional services. The college is known for its outreach, and Lewis was “in large part responsible for
that,” Dr. Raynor Mullins of the UK Center for Oral Health Research told Ward.

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