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2020 Aug. Mag.

August 1, 2020

Daphne Ferguson-Young, DDS, MSPH, FACD, FICD has spent over forty years as a General Dentist and Academician.


Daphne Ferguson-Young, DDS, MSPH, FACD, FICD has spent over forty years as a General Dentist and Academician. She is the current national President for the American Association of Women Dentists – this organization is 100 years old and she is the 100th President as of 2020 – 2021. She is also a full-time Professor in the Division of Surgical Sciences at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee where she has been a faculty member for a quarter of a century. Currently, she is the Director of the General Practice Residency program. At Meharry, she participates on several college committees and has served in numerous leadership capacities.

Daphne Ferguson YoungShe started her dental career as a staff dentist at a FQHC which led her to a career in public health dentistry. Prior to her academic appointment, Dr. Ferguson-Young maintained a private practice, practiced as a staff dentist at Matthew Walker Community Health Center and was a contract dentist for Indian Health Services. No stranger to wearing multiple hats while leading, Dr. Ferguson-Young served 12 years in the United States Army Reserves. Her transition from classroom to the sands of the Middle East made the front page of the Tennessean and was reported in newspapers around the country when she was deployed to Iraq in 2004. She retired from the Army at the rank of Lt. Colonel with many awards and accolades for her dedication, bravery, and commitment.

Her service to our country and her undeniable military leadership skills made Dr. Ferguson-Young the perfect candidate to serve as Meharry’s liaison to Hawler Medical College, School of Dentistry in Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq to assist with their curriculum committee. Her firsthand knowledge and experiences with the culture and the people were invaluable and made the collaboration between the two institutions a great partnership.

No stranger to humanitarian missions and a firm advocate in building partnerships that further dental health around the globe in underserved communities, Dr. Ferguson-Young for nearly a decade has accompanied the D3 dental students on a Jamaican dental mission trip, sponsored by the Jamaican Awareness Association of California (JAAC). Each year, dental students of Meharry devote a week providing dental services to hundreds of patients. Dr. Ferguson-Young has served as Co-Director of the dental team. JAAC provides medical, educational, mental health, and technology services to underprivileged areas of Jamaica. In addition to serving with JAAC-Meharry’s yearly mission, Dr. Ferguson-Young has traveled to Jamaica to provide dental services to school age children with The Links, Incorporated in the last several years.

Dr. Ferguson-Young’s hands-on philanthropy and compassionate leadership has been known around the globe. But she is also nationally and locally recognized as well. She served for 10 years on the Governing Board of Matthew Walker Community Health Center, a local community health center that provides affordable care for underinsured and uninsured Middle Tennesseans. In 2011, she completed The ADEA Leadership Institute as a scholarship Fellow. The ADEA Leadership Institute is a year-long program designed to develop the nation’s most promising individuals at academic dental institutions to become future leaders in dental and higher education. In 2013, she was inducted into the American College of Dentists in New Orleans. An invitation only organization, the American College of Dentists members are selected by their exemplified excellence in leadership through outstanding service and contributions to dentistry and society.

Dr. Ferguson-Young has also made history in her leadership roles. In 2020, she became the fourth African American woman to lead the American Association of Women Dentists, a 99-year-old professional organization that is a leading “resource for advancing, connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists.” Prior to becoming President of the nationally distinguished dental organization, Dr. Ferguson-Young has served on the AAWD’s Board of Directors in the capacities of Director of Federal Services, Vice-President and President-Elect. She has also served and held leadership roles in the National Dental Association, PanTN, and Capital City Dental Society. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Tennessee Dental Association, and Nashville Dental Society.

Dr. Ferguson-Young received her BS degree from North Carolina A & T State University and her DDS and MSPH degrees from Meharry Medical College. Raised to be an active participant in her community, she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha and The Links, Incorporated. In the 2020, she was an Athena 2020 nominee, nominated by the Parthenon (TN) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.

When she is not serving or leading others, she travels extensively for adventure and reads with abandonment. She is a patron of the arts. She avidly collects and encourages young African American artists. She is the proud mother of recording artist and songwriter, Spree Wilson.

Daphne Ferguson Young

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