Community-centered hygienist named outstanding dental school alumni

1993 graduate, Gina Sharps, recognized for leadership in WV

Gina Sharps, long-time dental hygienist and West Virginia University School of Dentistry graduate, received the dental school alumni association's Outstanding Alumni Award at the spring reunion celebration. 

Read the nomination below. 

"Gina Sharps has been a dental hygienist for 31 years.  She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene from West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 1993 and a Master of Public Health from West Virginia University School of Medicine in 2012.  Throughout her career, she has excelled in all aspects of dental hygiene.

For several years after receiving her BS degree, Gina practiced clinical dental hygiene.  Since then, she has been involved in public health dentistry—both statewide and nationally.

Gina’s holds these professional certifications:

  • Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist
  • Collaborative IRB Training Initiative
  • Licensed Public Practice Dental Hygienist
  • WV General Supervision Permit
  • Nitrous Oxide Monitoring Permit
  • Bleaching Agents Administration Permit---and the
  • American Heart Association Certified Healthcare Provider

Gina Sharps and husband Craig pose at alumni awards ceremonyCurrently, Gina is the Executive Director of the West Virginia Oral Health Coalition and is the Co-Lead Consultant for the Dental Hygienist Liaison Project, National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety.

She has authored several referred journal articles, abstracts, and WVU Extension Publications.  She also has given hundreds of professional presentations—locally, statewide, and nationally.  Additionally, Gina has been a grant writer for funded grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

Gina’s current professional memberships include the following:

  • West Virginia Dental Hygienists’ Association, Executive Board
  • American Dental Hygienists’ Association
  • Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors---and the
  • West Virginia Board of Dentistry

Her current committee appointments include the following:

  • American Network of Oral Health Coalition Board of Directors
  • National Rural Health Association Oral Health Initiative Task Force
  • American Dental Hygienists’ Association Awards Committee
  • WVU School of Dentistry Board of Governors
  • WVU School of Public Health Alumni Advisory Board
  • West Virginia State Oral Health Advisory Board---and the
  • West Virginia Head Start Health Advisory Council

Gina Sharps with dental school dental hygiene colleagues.Gina’s most notable awards include induction into Sigma Phi Alpha, the National Dental Hygiene Honor Society in 2021.  And, in July of 2023, she was selected as a Professional Fellow of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association which honors distinguished membership and achievement in dental hygiene.