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Local dentist honored for her devotion to those in need

November 11, 2014

Photo by Jose Garcia Photography.

Loyola University New Orleans will honor a local dentist, and the driving force behind a massive, one-day New Orleans charity dental clinic, with its highest honor. A 1988 Loyola graduate, Maria Ribando Burmaster, D.D.S., showed her commitment to Loyola’s Jesuit tradition of living her life with and for others during Loyola’s national day of service, Wolves on the Prowl, which helped make possible last year’s American Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy charity dental clinic. Her dedication to the community and to the teachings of the Catholic Church are just some of the reasons she is the 2014 recipient of Loyola’s Integritas Vitae Award.

Loyola will recognize Burmaster at the 1912 Society Dinner Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Roosevelt New Orleans. Tickets for the event are available at loyno.edu/1912. The Rev. James C. Carter, S.J., president emeritus of Loyola, is the featured speaker.

The Integritas Vitae Award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the qualities Loyola seeks to instill in its students, such as high moral character and a commitment to selfless service done without expecting rewards or public recognition. The award also recognizes honesty, integrity, justice and the preservation of human dignity.

Burmaster credits strong family ties to Loyola as inspiration for leading a spiritually rewarding life. Her parents, her two siblings, as well as her husband, the Honorable Barron C. Burmaster ’86, J.D. ’89, are Loyola graduates. The Burmasters' son John is currently enrolled in the College of Law.

“I am very honored about getting this award. I hope to be worthy of it one day. My parents sent me to Catholic schools and taught me what is most important—salvation through Jesus Christ. When you love Jesus, you also love his Church. So being a Catholic is one of my greatest joys,” Burmaster said.

Burmaster runs her own dental practice, Barataria Dental, along with her sister Valerie Ribando Hemphill, D.D.S. She is highly involved with her local community and parish where she volunteers her time to Donated Dental Services, a national humanitarian program that provides free dental treatment to the elderly and people with disabilities.

During last November’s Wolves on the Prowl event, Burmaster and 200 Loyola students and alumni helped transform Mardi Gras World into a massive pop-up dental clinic. Loyola volunteers worked with the American Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy to help set up the one-day clinic. Nearly 1,000 patients were able to take part in the free clinic.

“When I sent an email to all of the local universities asking them to promote our event to volunteers, Loyola was the first group to respond. I was very proud to say my alma mater stepped up to be an integral part of the first Mission of Mercy in Louisiana. The Wolves on the Prowl showed up in a big way,” Burmaster said.

Burmaster earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola before getting her doctorate of dental surgery from Louisiana State University in 1993. She has been a member of the New Orleans Dental Association, the Louisiana Dental Association and the American Dental Association since 1993.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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