February 2: Dr. Drake Dudley
Drake K. Dudley, DDS was born in Pembroke, Illinois, and was raised in Memphis, TN after the passing of his parents. Growing up in an underserved community Dr. Dudley couldn’t conceive becoming a graduate of college, better yet becoming a healthcare professional. There were many instrumental people that pushed him to strive for more than his surroundings could provide. They were a positive influence in his life and showed him that college was obtainable for him. Through many trials and tribulations he overcame his adversities and was accepted to Tennessee State University in 2003.
Dr. Dudley's family could not afford to bring him to school. Dr. Dudley vowed to pay it forward, and began his journey to become a pillar in his community. Through organizations such as Kappa Alpha Psi, Student National Dental and The Student American Dental Association. While in college, he was able to network with young men and women whose goals aligned with his endeavors which gave him the foundation to pursue his dreams of becoming a dentist.
Dr. Dudley received a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry at Tennessee State University in 2007. He went on to receive his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Meharry Medical College in 2014. In 2015, He finished his General Practice Residency at Columbia University in New York. Following his residency he moved back to Nashville, TN where he practiced locum dentistry for five years before opening his own office.
Smiles UP Dentistry is located in Midtown Nashville. Smiles Up is the first 24/7 emergency dental office in Davidson County, whose services are general and cosmetic dentistry from 8am -5pm and urgent care from 6pm- 7am.
Over the years Dr. Dudley has been recognized by his peers and community leaders for his involvement in actively reducing healthcare disparities in the Nashville community. He has been a recipient of many awards which include: Metro Police Strengthening Families Recipient, StayOnTheGo: 40under40, Black Chamber of Commerce Rising Star 40 under 40 , Nashville Emerging Leader 40 under 40, Tennessee State University's 40 under 40, Kappa Alpha Psi Notable Brother Of Achievement In The Field of Healthcare.
Dr. Dudley has partnered with several community organizations in which he has donated ten thousand toothbrushes in the month of October and February for the past four years in order to bring awareness to the importance of dental hygiene. He has been a guest speaker at several of Nashville underrepresented schools, He is also currently a member of the American Dental Association, Tennessee Dental Association, Nashville Dental Society, and holds the position as Vice President of the Capital City Dental Society, an organization that aims to reduce dental inequality in underserved communities.
Dr. Dudley is the Co-founder of the non-profit Project Dream. Project Dream mentors students from underserved areas that have aspirations to become healthcare professionals. Dr. Dudley has also partnered with Standing Tall. Standing Tall is a juvenile detention center where he mentors and provides dental services for at-risk youth. He also has a partnership with Dismas House, a transitional home for men released from prison in which he provides discounted dental services in order to assist participants in becoming acclimated to society. Dr. Dudley is a pillar in the community and strives for the betterment of the people in which he serves.