Alumnus Is Champion for Children’s Dental Care

Nick Rogers to receive the UMKC School of Dentistry Alumni Achievement Award
Nick Rogers

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes the achievements of outstanding alumni with an awards celebration. UMKC is honoring Nick Rogers (D.D.S. ’78) with its Class of 2020 Alumni Achievement Award.

Nick Rogers
Nick Rogers (D.D.S. ’78)

Rogers has served the Arkansas City, Kansas, area since 1979. A champion for children’s dental care, he secured grant money for his local Head Start program which expanded access to care for children in the region. On a national scale, he is president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Foundation. Rogers also devotes time to UMKC as a member of the UMKC School of Dentistry’s Rinehart Foundation board and started a scholarship for dental students. We spoke with him about his dedication to expanding access to dental care.

You’re a champion for children’s dental care — securing grant money for programs in your community and serving as president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation. Where does your passion for helping children stem from?

Being a dentist in a small community, I see patients of all socio-economic levels and all ages. It became very apparent while I served for 22 years on the local school board that children were often not getting the treatment they needed. This was caused by multiple issues from lack of financial resources and lack of education to lack of availability and awareness. It became my goal to help change that to allow kids to find dental treatment and for parents to understand the need.

You recently created a scholarship at the School of Dentistry and serve on the board of the Rinehart Foundation. There are many worthy causes to support, why do you choose to give back to UMKC?

Dental school did not come easy for me. I was not accepted on my first application and my goal to graduate debt free meant working part-time jobs. I, like students today, spent many hours studying. I had much help and encouragement from others along the way.

Although the dollar amount of the scholarship is not great, I hope that it gives encouragement to students to continue their pursuit to the great profession of dentistry. I would not have made it through without help from others. This scholarship represents my thanks to those that helped me… “paying it forward.” It also represents my desire to help youth fulfill their dreams.

What is your favorite UMKC memory?

Sneaking a microfiche machine, in the days before computers, out of the library for a group of us to study for a pathology test on a weekend and returning it on Monday. (The youth in the audience will have to “Google” microfiche).

About the Alumni Awards

Join us in honoring Rogers and the other Class of 2020 Awardees in our first-ever virtual celebration at 5 p.m. April 16. Go to to register for this free event. If you are unable to attend the event but would like to donate to student scholarships, contributions can be made online.

Meet the rest of the 2020 UMKC Alumni Awardees

Learn more about School of Dentistry

Published: Mar 24, 2021

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