Dr. Zapert helps two dental patients at the Molar Express. In dedication to Dr. Zapert, new signage has been adopted at the Dr. Edward F. Zapert Dental Clinic – The Molar Express. (Photo: Special to the Democrat)

In recognition of Dr. Edward F. Zapert’s public service, on Sept. 2 Leon County Government and the Florida Department of Health in Leon County renamed the Health Department’s Dental Clinic to The Dr. Edward F. Zapert Dental Clinic – The Molar Express.

Recognized as one of the most influential advocates for the underserved children in Leon County, Dr. Zapert served as the Dental Director of the Leon County Health Department for 30 years. 

“Dr. Zapert was tireless in his dedication to increasing local access to quality dental care,” said Leon County Chairman Bryan Desloge. “Through his service, he helped build a strong foundation for The Molar Express, which continues to provide essential services to children who may otherwise struggle to receive dental healthcare.”  

When Dr. Zapert became Dental Director of the Leon County Health Department’s Dental Clinic in 1982, the Dental Clinic was located in a 1,024 square foot space, and staff included only one dental assistant and one dental hygienist. To serve more in the community, Dr. Zapert led efforts to relocate the Dental Clinic to a larger facility so more children could receive care.  

“By renaming the dental clinic in honor of Dr. Zapert, we honor his lifelong dedication to public service, and we recognize the important role the clinic serves for our community,” said Vincent S. Long, Leon County Administrator.

Completed in 2005, the new 5,200 square foot dental clinic increased the clinic’s annual client capacity from 2,000 to 6,000 and was affectionally named The Molar Express.

Today, the clinic is recognized as one of the largest public health dental facilities in the State, housing five dentists, eight dental hygienists and six dental assistants.

“Dr. Zapert passed away on July 25, 2019 after many years of tireless work to improve the oral health of children in Leon County and the state of Florida,” said Leon County Health Department’s Health Officer Claudia Blackburn. “We cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to rename his beloved dental clinic for him.”

Dr. Zapert supported many local initiatives to provide free dental services to local underserved children.

In 2012, Dr. Zapert partnered with United Way of the Big Bend as a co-founder of the Smile United Program to provide preventive pediatric dental services and dental education to children at Title I schools within the region at no cost to the parents. Today, the expanding program provides dental care to over 1,300 students across 17 schools in Leon County annually.

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