The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is proud to announce Joseph A. Battaglia, MS, DMD FAGD, of Wayne, New Jersey, as the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Mark S. Ritz Advocate for Dentistry Award. Dr. Battaglia was granted this award during AGD’s Annual Meeting on October 21, held virtually this year due to COVID-19.
“Dr. Battaglia is a gifted dentist and tremendous contributor to dentistry, and I can think of no one more deserving to be recognized today,” said AGD President Bruce Cassis, DDS, MAGD. “Dr. Battaglia’s contributions, not only during the pandemic, but also over the course of the years as chairperson at both Dental Practice and LGA make him an ideal candidate for the Mark S. Ritz Advocacy Award.
The Mark S. Ritz Advocate for Dentistry Award recognizes an AGD member who has distinguished themselves primarily on the national level in an active, visible and successful advocacy role on behalf of the academy. Since the award’s inception in 2010 only four other recipients of the AGD’s 40,000 members have received the honor.
“I am humbled and extremely grateful to receive this prestigious award, said Battaglia. “Dr. Mark Ritz served as an inspiration for me and for all those advocating for our profession. Sadly, he passed without knowing his immense impact on his colleagues and dentistry. Continuing his legacy is an honor.”
Dr. Battaglia is an associate clinical professor in the department of restorative dentistry at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. He has maintained an advancing faculty appointment at the dental school for over 30 years. He is currently responsible for the clinical and preclinical instruction of sophomore, junior and senior dental students. He held an administrative position in the department of continuing education at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Dental School (UMDNJ), the predecessor to Rutgers, as well as his faculty appointment.
He currently is chair of the AGD Dental Practice Council, chair of the American Association of Dental Boards’ (AADB) East Caucus, vice chair of the AADB Nominating Committee, a commissioner on the American Dental Association (ADA) National Commission on Dental Specialty Recognition and Certifying Boards, a member of the ADA workgroup on Elder Care, a delegate from the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry to the Commission on Dental Competency Assessment House of Delegates and a member of the Commission on Dental Competency Assessment Endodontic Subcommittee. He is a past chair of the AGD Legislative and Government Affairs Council, a member of the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry and president of the New Jersey AGD. He holds a Master of Science in biochemistry from the Fairleigh Dickinson School of Dentistry and a DMD from UMDNJ, being inducted as an alumni member in Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU). He completed a General Practice Residency at Hackensack University Medical Center. He earned his FAGD and has received fellowships in the Academy of Dentistry International, the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists.Prior to entering dentistry, Dr. Battaglia was a research biologist at Merck & Co.