Awards- Dr. Byron Henry

Dr. Byron Henry

Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award Winner

For his dedication to dentistry and establishment of the Free to Smile Foundation, Dr. Byron T. Henry will be honored with the Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award during the Callahan Celebration of Excellence, held Friday September 16, in conjunction with the 145th Ohio Dental Association Annual Session in Columbus.

Free to Smile Foundation began in part with help from Henry’s wife Stacy. It is a not-for-profit corporation whose founders appreciate their blessings and work, along with numerous volunteers, to share their gifts with those, who they feel need it most – impoverished children born with cleft lip and palate deformity who live in underserved countries and endure the consequences of their deformities: social stigma, speech defects and nutritional challenges.

It was during his surgical residency at Indiana University that Henry developed an affinity for the “cleft kids” who had wonderful dispositions and were full of energy. In addition to serving as partner for Northwest Oral and Facial Surgery, Henry makes two to three overseas trips a year on humanitarian missions to provide free cleft lip/palate surgery to these underprivileged children and adolescents.

“The support shown by the Foundation’s generous and willing donors and by the dental community has been very gratifying to everyone involved with FTS,” Henry said. “This support from the dental community shows how much altruism and compassion that the dental community possesses.”

Chartered in 2008, Free to Smile Foundation is now almost 3 years in existence and growing strong. To date there are several sites and partners, including 3 sites in Guatemala, a site in Cambodia and a site in Tibet. There is also a project supported by Free to Smile Foundation, previously called the Cameroon Project, now renamed the West Africa Project, where treatment is being done in Mali, Africa.

With such an immense impact on people around the world, Henry has no expectation of slowing down any time soon.

“We want to continue to always strengthen our existing programs and partnerships that we have overseas. As time goes on we want to continue to expand our organization into other areas of the world as well as bring awareness to the true need of the impoverished cleft child living in the third world,” Henry said. “We want to continue to bring awareness of Free to Smile Foundation to the Ohio dental community and to the dental communities throughout the US,” he continued. We also want to continue our fundraising efforts so we can continue our missions and to allow us to expand into other impoverished countries. Lastly, we always want to remain transparent as a foundation.”

On receiving this award, Henry said being recognized by his peers is an honor and a privilege. “I cannot tell you how excited I am about receiving this award. I truly thank the ODA and its members for recognizing the work that Free to Smile Foundation has done to help the many impoverished children in the world.”

“My love for dentistry has only improved each year as I realize how great our profession is and how much we can truly do to help people in our profession,” Henry said.

An alumni of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Henry graduated with distinction as well as on academic scholarship in 1995. Not long after graduation, Henry became involved in many organizations throughout the country. Henry most notably commits time and energy to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ohio Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, American Dental Association, Ohio Dental Association, Columbus Dental Society, Health Volunteers Overseas and Healing the Children.

Born January 30, 1968, Henry is married to Stacy S. Henry and together they have two children, Evan B. Henry and Makenna L. Henry. In his free time Henry enjoys traveling, reading, kayaking, and running.

More information on the Free to Smile Foundation can be found at

Congratulations to Dr. Byron Henry!