Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle Honored for Contributions to Tennessee Dental Association

June 2, 2022

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle was honored with a resolution from the Tennessee Dental Association (TDA) House of Delegates, on May 22, which named her an honorary member of the Association.

The TDA noted Chancellor Lyle’s work with the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability, along with various nonprofits, to design and implement a grant process directing settlement funds from nursing home litigation to agencies assisting Tennessee seniors.

“I accept this honor not only on behalf of the Court, but also as an acknowledgement of the extraordinary contributions of Dr. Rhonda Switzer-Nadasdi; Dianne Oliver and the West End Home Foundation; Attorney Paul Davidson; Jim Shulman, Vice Mayor and Director of the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability during the court project; and Receiver, Scott Merti,” said Chancellor Lyle.

According to the resolution, presented by Dr. Rhonda Switzer-Nadasdi, Chancellor Lyle ruled the approximately $40 million in the settlement of two related cases (SeniorTrust/ElderTrust), over nine years ago, be used to help senior Tennesseans sustain and improve their quality of life in four specific areas of greatest need.

Interfaith Dental Clinic designed Smile On 60+ to address senior dental needs and was allocated $12.5 million from the trust to create and manage the program statewide. Smile On 60+ provides awareness of the importance of oral health to overall health, helps navigate the impoverished over age sixty into charitable clinics, and pays for most of the cost of care and transportation.

Chancellor Lyle also directed funding through the settlement for the Nashville Public Television documentary, Aging Matters – Oral Health for Older Adults.

“The work everyone did of evaluating, educating and navigating seniors into dental homes, and then transporting, treating and repeating, as well as work on the Aging Matters NPT documentary, was a blessing to our State and its Seniors. It greatly improved overall health and wellbeing,” said Chancellor Lyle.

With the depletion of program funds in April 2022and Chancellor Lyle’s upcoming retirement, the Tennessee Dental Association decided now was the best time to honor her remarkable efforts and commitment to oral health advocacy in Tennessee. It is estimated that more than 20,000 Tennessee seniors benefitted from Chancellor Lyle’s funding program.

Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle