On November 15, the College of Health and Human Services will host the 2019 Health and Human Services Hero Awards to recognize the unsung heroes in our community whose actions, thoughts and words have had a transformative impact in our region. We will highlight the ten honorees in our Heroes Blog Series.
Name: Xavier Gutierrez, D.D.S.
Occupation: Dental Practitioner and Team Dentist for Fresno State Athletics
Nominated by: Central California Sports Science Institute
It’s a busy fall morning and nearly one hundred children are gathered in Fresno State’s South Gym for the annual TeamSmile event, which provides free dental services to local children and youth. At the helm of it all is Dr. Xavier Gutierrez, who has been organizing the event for the past 13 years, as the lead dentist. When he’s not coordinating the event, Gutierrez organizes fundraisers to raise awareness of the dental service for children.
Under Gutierrez’s leadership, over one thousand children have received nearly $1 million in free dental treatment. For many of the children, the event is the first time they have ever received any kind of dental treatment.
Today, Fresno State continues to be the only collegiate site to host TeamSmile, as all other sites are hosted by teams in the National Football League. This unique partnership is a result of Gutierrez’s spirit of service and his desire to serve the Central Valley.
Aside from his volunteer work, Gutierrez manages his own private dental practice, where he has been providing the Fresno community with a brighter smile for over 20 years.
Since 2004, Gutierrez has also served as the team dentist for Fresno State Athletics. His dedication and work providing important oral health care for student-athletes, garnered him the distinction of being a Fellow in the Academy of Sports Dentistry. This led to speaking engagements and lectures to fellow dentists, athletic trainers, nurses and dental residents throughout the Valley, on the topic of dental trauma and sports dentistry.
He most recently partnered with the Central California Sports Science Institute to train local dentists specifically in the area of sports dentistry. The ongoing goal is to find a dentist to volunteer for every high school in Fresno County.
“Dr. X epitomizes care for this community and his efforts behind the scenes have made an incredible impact in our community.” – Dr. Scott Sailor, Central California Sports Science Institute
The 2019 Health and Human Services Hero Awards, which celebrates heroes from each of the seven departments, as well as centers and institutes within our college, will be held on November 15, 2019 at Fresno State. For more information on the event, contact Beth Wilkinson at 559.278.3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.