Dr. Francis G. Serio, an assistant professor of periodontics at the University of Maryland Dental School, was being honored today at a White House ceremony as a recipient of the President's Volunteer Action Award.
Serio and 18 other recipients were selected for the honor from more than 3,500 nominees.
Leading a team of UM dental students and alumni, Serio has provided dental care to about 13,000 poor citizens of the Dominican Republic during the past nine years. Often he and his crew have had to trudge up mountains with portable dental equipment and electric generators.
Serio said he could do even more work in the Caribbean nation if he had more volunteers for the project, which is funded by Catholic organizations, churches and individuals.