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Mark McIlwain, D.M.D., M.D., provided leadership in Alabama when the dental profession needed it most – to address the COVID-19 pandemic, while keeping patients and personnel safe and making it possible for practices and the school of dentistry’s clinics to reopen.

mark mcIlwain in his officeOf course, being on the front-lines has always been his modus operandi. Whether it be for the dental profession, his community, or his dental school, he has always been front and center in making a difference in people’s lives. That’s why McIlwain was presented with the alumni association’s 2020 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

After graduating from the University of Alabama, McIlwain enrolled at the UAB School of Dentistry, where he quickly established himself as a top student. The Butler, Alabama native graduated in 1982 and practiced general dentistry in Tuscumbia for five years before pursuing a residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He completed his residency at Vanderbilt University and then returned to the Shoals area, where he has been a partner with Oral and Facial Surgery of the Shoals.

McIlwain is dedicated to his family, patients, community and the dental profession. If you think there are only 24 hours in a day, you haven’t walked in Dr. McIlwain’s shoes because he crams about twice the hours in his schedule. He currently serves as President of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama. He has been active in the American Dental Association and Alabama Dental Association for years. He has served as President of the Tri-County Dental Society and the Alabama Society of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He has also lectured for numerous organizations including our own Alumni Association. In 2020, he gave the Lister Hill Lecture at the school’s commencement ceremony.

Outside of dentistry, McIlwain’s plate is just as full. He served for 12 years on the Tuscumbia City School Board, has been doctor for the Deschler High School football team for 28 years, was Chief of Staff for the Helen Keller Hospital, and medical director of the Colbert County E-9-1-1. Among their extensive community involvement, he and his wife, Connie, have been sponsors of the Helen Keller Festival the past 28 years.

The couple have two grown children, Mary Ellen and Joe. In addition to all the McIlwain’s have done for dentistry and their community, they have been longtime supporters of the School of Dentistry and our alumni association.