August 20, 2012 — By School of Dentistry
Marlin Meharry, SD’80, became the 2011 recipient of the North Dakota Dental Association’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. Meharry, who practices dentistry in Harvey, North Dakota, was nominated for this award by his peers in recognition of his participation as a volunteer in local health care projects and his life-long commitment to dental care overseas.
Upon graduation from dental school, Dr. Meharry became a traveling dentist in the Micronesian Marshall Islands. Two years later, in Okinawa, he reconnected with a high school friend, Jan, who soon became his wife and partner in service. Together they were associated with the Adventist Medical Center in Naha, Japan, before going to the Adventist clinic in Nairobi, Kenya.
During their 1989-1995 service in Nairobi, the Meharrys created a mobile dental unit to provide treatment in remote villages that previously had lacked access to rudimentary dental care. The needs of the Kenyans prompted them to establish the Maasai Development Project, a non-profit organization that provides leadership training for lay pastors, literacy teachers, and educational rescue centers.
In his home setting, Dr. Meharry serves as Wells County Health Board chairman, and as chairman for the Black Hills Health and Education Center Board of Directors. He also is a director on the Loma Linda University Alumni Association Board.
Dr. Meharry continues to use his vacation time to conduct medical and dental mission trips in underserved areas of Kenya three times each year.