The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) awarded Prudy Yerkes of Kirkwood, Mo., the Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award on Saturday, April 26 at the annual luncheon of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics, which was held in conjunction with the 2014 Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists in New Orleans, La.
The Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award was established to perpetuate Dr. Earl Shepard’s outstanding accomplishments and to show appreciation for his many contributions as the first executive director of the ABO and those of his wife, Wilma, who was highly involved with her husband’s efforts to fulfill the ABO’s goals. This award recognizes an individual for outstanding dedication and advancement of the ideals and mission of the ABO.
For the past nine years, Ms. Yerkes has worked for the ABO as the technology coordinator and as the project manager for the ABO Technology Committee. During her time with the ABO, she has managed the ABO’s information technology, including the central database, the ABO website and its online interactions.
“In serving the American Board of Orthodontics, I have received the opportunity to offer the skills I have accumulated throughout my many years in the field of technology,” said Ms. Yerkes, who will retire in September. “It has been an honor to advance the ideals and mission of the ABO by integrating technology as a tool that supports, but does not control. It has also been an inspiration to work with such a dedicated group of professionals who love their specialty.”
During her tenure, the ABO website has evolved considerably and now allows for the electronic submission of case reports and digital records. Examination candidates may also register for examinations online. In addition, Ms. Yerkes created the specifications for and managed the changeover to a computerized grading system and reporting of exam results. Ms. Yerkes managed the website and database conversion in 2008, as well as the database conversion in 2014. She is responsible for testing all new systems before they are implemented.
Currently, she and the Technology Committee are working with software developers to achieve universal digital formats and to develop software tools aligned with ABO certification requirements. She has also developed a strategy to address operational issues and logistics associated with working with multiple software developers while maintaining a non-endorsement vendor policy.
Prior to her time with the ABO, Ms. Yerkes was a computer programmer for banking operations and for a heavy-equipment construction company. She also provided tech support and training to teachers in a local school district. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University.