2016 Presidential Award Honorees

Dr. Robert Edwab

Dr. Edwab 1Dr. Robert Edwab received his D.D.S. degree from Howard University, right here in Washington D.C. Following graduation, he went directly into an Oral and Maxillofacial training program at Metropolitan Hospital Center in Manhattan. As a Board Certified Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon, he was in private practice in Brooklyn, New York for over 25 years. He had teaching appointments at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York University College of Dentistry and at New York Medical College at Metropolitan Hospital Center with affiliations at Valhalla, NY.

After moving up the ladder and serving at each level as an officer in the Second District Dental Society, which represents the 1,500 Dentists in Brooklyn and Staten Island, he became President in 1989. He remained on their Board for over 20 years and earned the distinction of serving the longest time in the Society’s history as the editor of its monthly Bulletin. In 1990, he was appointed to the Greater New York Dental Meeting where he became General Chairman in 1998.

Dr. Edwab lectures and offers hands-on-workshops on basic Oral Surgery for general practitioners at Dental Meetings both domestically and internationally. He has had numerous published articles in many professional dental journals.  As a life-long student, this past December, he completed his studies and earned his MBA. or the past 14 years, Robert has been the Executive Director of the Greater New York Dental Meeting. During his time in that position, he has assisted in its growth to become not only the largest Dental event in the United States, but also one of the largest healthcare events in the United States. Last November, the Greater New York Dental Meeting registered over 54,000 attendees from all 50 States and 131 countries.

As a longtime supporter of the Hispanic Dental Association, Dr. Edwab and the Greater New York Dental Meeting have supported our Association and even opened their headquarters at night so our HDA components could use their headquarters’ board room for monthly meetings.


Dr. Rafael A. Lantigua

Dr. LantiguaDr. Lantigua received his MD degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Santo in 1972.  He completed his residency in internal medicine at Lincoln Hospital, where he also served as a chief resident. After completing an endocrinology fellowship at the Rochester University School of Medicine in 1980, he joined the Division of General Medicine at Columbia as a faculty member.  Since 1994 he has served as Associate Division Chief of the Division of General Medicine and as Medical Director of the Associates in Internal Medicine (AIM) practice.  He is a member of the

Admission Committee of Columbia University Medical School and member of the Internal Medicine

Residency Selection Committee.  Since 1995, he has represented Columbia University at the American Medical Association (AMA) Section on Medical Schools.  In 2010 he served on the AMA Executive Committee.  From 2005-2010 he served as a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute on Aging (NIA).

He has been actively involved in research on issues that affect the quality of life in minority populations. From 1988-94 he served as co-investigator in a large-scale community-based New YorkState Department of Health Program at Columbia to promote awareness and education of cardio-vascular disease in the Washington Heights-Inwood community.  From 1998-2008 he served as the principal investigator in the National Institute of Aging-funded Columbia Center for Active Life of Minority Elders (Resource Center for Minority Aging Research).  Since 1999 Dr. Lantigua has served as Deputy Director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University.  He has published more than 60 medical articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Lantigua is co-founder and previously was Chairperson of the Board of Alianza Dominicana, Inc., the major community-based organization serving the Dominican Community in the United States. He is Co-founder and former Chairperson of the Board of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrants Rights.

He has served in multiple Boards of non-for profit organizations such as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, Puerto Rican/Hispanic Institute for the Elderly, the Latino Commission on AIDS, and National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.