IFDH President's Report:

April 2024

IFDH Recognized Worldwide Via Our People & Programs

International Symposium on Dental Hygiene: Waiting for You!

The excitement is building for our 2024  International Symposium on Dental Hygiene. The Local Organizing Committee with Jeongran Park, as Chair,  is planning a memorable event. The Scientific Committee under the leadership of Kyung-hee Kang is busy putting together a program of varied topics to address Collaboration, Optimization, Reimagination and Equalization; the CORE of  Dental Hygienists – The Center of Oral Health.

No visit to the beautiful country of South Korea would be complete without a sampling of the culture and exotic food. Our opening ceremonies will introduce you to the Korean culture and you will find endless opportunities to enjoy traditional restaurants in the CoEx area. They are looking forward to welcoming you to their country. Please visit the  website www.ISDH2024.com  to see all that is planned for your visit and the opportunities that will invite you to stay. Opening Ceremonies is less than 4 months away. Have you registered?

2024 Global Oral Health Summit Panel

The 2024 Global Oral Health Summit, held during the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene will welcome a new format. We are preparing a panel discussion on the future of our profession and the call to action of the WHO. We have invited leading experts in dental hygiene to join us in looking at the evolution of our profession and the need to make prevention and minimally invasive care the future of oral health care.

ADEA International Women’s Leadership Conference,
The IADR Annual Conference & A Board Meeting

The IFDH Board traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana in March to attend the International Women’s Leadership  Conference. In keeping with our desire to limit travel and minimize our carbon footprint, the Board held its winter, in-person Board meeting, in conjunction with the conference and the IADR Annual Conference.

It was a very full few days and a lot was accomplished! Preparing for our upcoming House of Delegates Business Meeting kept us busy while also ensuring that we have a seamless transition to a new board  was important.

A Successful 2022 - 2024 Term

Our Board has had a very busy 2 years and introduced a number of new initiatives such as an interim House of Delegate Virtual Meeting in 2023 and an orientation session for incoming board of director members. We held a virtual Global Oral Health Summit with over 600 registrants and a large cohort of presenters. Notwithstanding, the new programs for Innovation Awards, Impact Awards, the World Dental Hygienist Awards (new version), and our ongoing programs of research grants, social responsibility awards, online surveys, etc., we have been very active and have worked together as a team to accomplish our goals. We are looking forward to meeting with our House of Delegates in Seoul to celebrate the IFDH.

My Virtual Journey Continues

Before my term ends, I have a few more members to visit with my mouse. I am happy to see my friends in these following stops along my flight path.


Our Latvian representatives Kristine Belova and Anita Preisa come from an association of 300 members. Latvia sits between its Baltic neighbors Lithuania and Estonia.  Known for its beautiful architecture Riga, the capital, looks like an interesting city to visit. The dental hygienists association was founded in 1997. Their members require a certification which is conducted by their association. In Latvia  they promote professional activity by holding seminars and conferences. Their annual conference is in Riga on April 19th if you are in the area. They have also been promoting our International Symposium on Dental Hygiene on their website.


Speaking of neighbors… I thought I would stop next door in Lithuania and see our Lithuanian House of Delegates representative Gitana Rederiene. Gitana is so actively involved in our profession. As President of the European Dental Hygienists Federation she is busy with the European Oral Health Platform and many other avenues of oral healthcare in Europe. In Lithuania they will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary as an Association but plans are under development so I wasn’t able to get a peek😊. Drop by their website https://lbhd.lt to see how they will celebrate. In Lithuania  there are 5  three-year dental hygiene programs awarding a professional bachelor’s degree and one four-year program followed by a B.Sc. in Oral Health. Since 2019 dental hygienists in Lithuania are recognized as a part of the primary care team. They mainly focus on preventive care, including non-surgical periodontal therapy, scaling, root planning, polishing, and dental sealants, fluoride applications and patient counselling on oral health. We all have so many things in common; prevention is our core.


My mouse took a deep dive west and south to land in Belgium. Known by many for the Belgian chocolate it is also the headquarters of NATO and the European Union. Quite an impressive claim for sure. But not only that they are also the home of our representatives Isabelle Mertens and Doris Voortmans. One of our newest members to IFDH, the Belgian Dental Hygienists Association formed in 2019. They have been actively advocating for their fellow dental hygienists whilst contributing to affordable, high-quality preventive dental hygiene based on evidence-based practices. A recent survey was conducted to evaluate the current reimbursement system and possible expansion of services covered. On a social level, they have been contributing to general public health, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups within Belgian society. Way to go Belgium!

United Kingdom

I thought I would slide my mouse up the coast and across the channel to visit our friends in The British Society for Dental Hygienists and Therapists. Who are they, you might ask…well, Miranda Steeples and Rhiannon Jones of course. You will get to meet them in person soon. The BSDHT is a dual society with both dental hygienists and therapists and it works great for them. They have 12 regional groups stretching across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Browsing their website you will see great Info sheets for the public on topics such as oral health in relation to gum health, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and pregnancy. They have recently moved to an e-format for their journal and the first edition is online now for their members. Who knows… pay them a visit… you may meet a royal!

I must give my mouse a break, unpack her suitcase and rest up for my final President Message in June. Be sure to come back to hear of our adventures as we zip around the virtual globe to visit the remainder of our friends in IFDH.

Please remember… to be … the dental hygienist you know you are.

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