Ohio Dental Association (ODA) on September 14 at the Callahan Celebration of Excellence held during the ODA Annual Session. The award recognizes Dr. Bitonte for his philanthropy, his dedication to supporting the needs of the local community, and for his "professional conduct, his leadership strength, his respect for dentistry, and his personal ethics."
Dr. Bitonte said he was honored to receive the Achievement Award. “I feel it’s a great honor that my peers have selected me,” he said.
Dr. Bitonte decided to become a dentist because of his brother, who was in dental school at The Ohio State University at the same time Dr. Bitonte was an undergraduate. He decided to follow in his brother’s footsteps and he received his D.D.S. degree from Ohio State's College of Dentistry in 1947. After dental school, Dr. Bitonte went into practice with his brother in Youngstown. He also served as a Dental Officer in the U.S. Navy for two years during the Korean War, and he retired in 1994.
“I would say my favorite part was interacting with the people and doing something that made them happy when it was all over,” Dr. Bitonte said. “Either they felt better, or their appearance was better, and I enjoyed that.”
Dr. Bitonte has been generous in giving back to his community, and to education in particular. He said he has seen Youngstown go through some hard times, and because he was fortunate enough to get an education and become successful, he wanted to help out.