Dr. Elisa Velazquez, the owner of Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates, has been recognized as the Ocean County Women’s Advocate of the Year by the Ocean County Advisory Commission on the Status of Women. Dr. Velazquez, who is affectionately known as Dr. Lisa to her patients and office staff, has worked with or developed a wealth of programs to help children and their families develop and maintain healthy smiles especially those with special needs. “Dr. Velazquez is a true friend to children in the autism community,” Gary Weitzen, Executive Director of POAC said. “It’s extremely fitting for Dr. Velazquez to be chosen as Women’s Advocate of the Year. She personifies our goal and we are extremely proud and honored to be associated with her.”
One of the reasons Dr. Velazquez is widely known is due to her creating the free program, DOPAC (Dental Orientation for Parents and Autistic Children), that teaches children with autism and their parents’ dental hygiene skills to help these kids daily at home and to desensitize them for future dental visits. Instead of coming twice a year for a cleaning, they now can come once a month so it becomes repetition and common for them. “Many parents are afraid that their kids won’t stay in the chair so they feel it will be a waste of time and money so I wanted to remove that burden,” said Velazquez. Listening to the needs of parents and families helped create this necessary program.
Dr. Velazquez is also a volunteer with Special Olympics, Donated Dental Services, Children’s Dental Health Month Expo and her office is a Give Kids a Smile site sponsor, an annual day of FREE dental care for patients with no insurance. She was honored on Oct. 13 joined by her peers, family, friends and the Women’s Commission. Ocean County Freeholder Virginia E. Haines presented a proclamation from the Board of Freeholders recognizing Dr. Velazquez for her expertise, achievements and continued commitment to women and their families. Dr. Miriam Furlong, who practices with Dr. Velazquez shares “Her enthusiasm and passion for dentistry, and helping children is contagious. Dr. Lisa has a kind of magnetic energy that makes you want to be a part of the fun. I enjoy working with her, and I’ve always respected and admired her.”
In addition to her own practice, she is on staff with Children’s Specialized Hospital and Community Medical Center in Toms River, NJ.
Dr. Velazquez teaches dental residents at Monmouth Medical Center and currently serves as the President of the NJ Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. She is past president of the Monmouth-Ocean County Dental Society and serves as the chairperson for the state’s Governmental Affairs Committee. “Advocating for patients and the profession is truly my passion,” says Dr. Velazquez. Other doctors in her group, Ocean Pediatric Dental Associates, include Dr. Linda Insano, Dr. Matt Sones, Dr Suzanne Quigley & Dr. Mimi Furlong. The group is committed to providing the highest quality pediatric dental and orthodontic care for our children. She continues to welcome new patients and appreciates the role her team plays in being chosen as the Women’s Advocate of the Year Award.
368 Lakehurst Road Suite 305
Toms River, NJ 08755
1301 Rt 72 Suite 305
Manahawkin, NJ 08050