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Leon County Renames Dental Clinic for former Director

By Pamela Saulsby

June 19, 2020

Leon County Dental Clinic Renamed for Beloved Former Director 

Leon County dental clinic to be re-named for former director who championed needs of underserved children

new image zapert

The late Dr. Edward J. Zapert will soon have his name emblazoned on the front of the Leon County Health Department’s Dental Clinic.

The dental clinic located on Railroad Avenue, commonly referred to as the Molar Express Dental Clinic is owned by Leon County and operated by the Leon County Health Department.

On June 16, 2020, the Leon County Board of County Commissioners voted to rename the clinic in his honor.

the clinic outside

It will now be known as the Dr. Edward F. Zapert Dental Clinic – The Molar Express.

Dr Zapert served as the Dental Director for decades and was recognized as one of the most influential advocates for the underserved children in Leon County.

Leon County Health Department’s Health Officer Claudia Blackburn said, “Dr. Zapert passed away on July 25, 2019 after more 30 years of tireless work to improve the oral health of children in Leon County and the state of Florida.  We cannot think of a more fitting tribute than to rename his beloved dental clinic for him.”

When he became Dental Director in 1982, the Dental Clinic was located in a 1,024 square foot space in the Municipal Way Health Department. At that time, Dr. Zapert’s staff included only one dental assistant and one dental hygienist. During his initial years as Dental Director, Dr. Zapert realized there was a large share of children in the community who did not have access to dental care and led efforts to relocate the Dental Clinic to a larger facility with additional dental operations to allow for more children to receive care.

patient

Beginning in July 2000, Dr. Zapert led the coordination between the Department of Health and Leon County Government to relocate the dental clinic to the County’s Amtrak Property on Railroad Avenue. Completed in 2005, the new 5,200 square foot dental clinic was affectionately named “The Molar Express” and increased the clinic’s annual client capacity from 2,000 to 6,000.

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 also supported the coordination of the Leon County Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile Event which is hosted annually at the Molar Express Dental Clinic to provide comprehensive dental care to undeserved children at no cost.

zapert patient and staff

Dr. Edward F. Zapert was an asset to our dental community. His vision for the State of Florida was for every child to have access to dental care and he succeeded. He was a great dentist, leader, colleague, mentor and friend.

The seeds he planted for “The Molar Express” that improved oral care for extremely vulnerable children are still growing today.

the molar express leon

A renaming ceremony will take place in late summer or fall.

*Pamela Saulsby | Public Information Officer