IFDH President's Report:

September 2023

A Lot is Happening with IFDH!

Hello to Everyone;
It has been a busy few months since I wrote last. I have traversed the globe, physically, so my news will be from in person events rather than via my mouse.

HoD Interim Meeting: September 9th

I am looking very forward to seeing you all, on screen, in September to hear about the activities in your countries. Now that the Covid restrictions are lifted, I know we are getting back to in-person gatherings and community projects, this meeting is a great way to stay in touch.

A Message to Your National Conference

I have had the opportunity to record greetings for a couple of national meetings and I welcome the opportunity to bring greetings from IFDH as well as an update on our activities to all our country members. Just drop me a line.

New Sponsorships with P&G and Haleon

Survey Summary White Paper – Having completed 7 global surveys over the last 3 years, IFDH has been working with P&G on a White Paper summarizing the survey findings and showing there is an opportunity to make for more effective home care recommendations. The white paper will inspire dental hygienists to make more impactful evidence-based preventive home care recommendations to improve patients’ periodontal health positively influence patients’ overall health; and contribute to sustainable dentistry. Watch for it this fall.

Innovation Awards – The IFDH Innovation Awards, sponsored by Haleon, will recognize dental hygienists that have developed an innovative approach to dental hygiene practice, whether it be a new instrument, a new piece of equipment, a unique modality, or a novel approach to treatment. Please share your innovations with us through applications, soon to be available on our website.

A White Paper Series on Prevention & Treatment is being jointly launched by IFDH and Haleon. A series of 6 papers over 3 years will create a reference of a dental hygienist’s dedication to prevention and treatment of oral disease.

3rd Global Oral Health Summit

Let’s use our knowledge and energy to prevent waste, energy and water consumption in our daily lives!

At IFDH, we are busy with preparations for the 3rd Global Oral Health Summit on November 4th. Our speakers will be a varied group of professionals sharing their knowledge to provide us with the tools to address the WHO Action Plan for Improved Oral Health and Sustainability in Oral Health. We will hear from members of our Federation on Policy Advocacy and Teaching Others to Teach Oral Health Care. Please visit the IFDH website for further information and to register.

Prevention is the Key to improving many aspects of our lives. Whether it be general health, oral health, or planet health. There is a saying that” an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and although it would seem like a cliché, we have to embrace that cliché if we are going to improve oral health for our global citizens. We must share our knowledge of daily oral hygiene practices with our medical colleagues and continue to influence our governments that a preventive policy complete with public health initiatives is necessary to reach all corners of our countries.

Looking at the news from around the globe, I see wild fires, drought, and floods. If we look at the United Nations 17 sustainable development goals, we realize that there is a synergistic interaction that sees the effects of each activity on so many others. What we do to reduce pollution, waste and water consumption will ultimately affect other aspects of our global community. It might seem like a small contribution in the overall climate crisis, but if we all do our part, we may minimize the crisis. We can implement changes in our practice that will help but we can’t wait until tomorrow. Let’s be part of the solution as dental hygienists. We are prevention specialists, and we can use our knowledge and energy to prevent waste, energy and water consumption in our daily lives…. Let’s do it!

My Global (Mis)Adventures

Chicago IL, USA: The summer of 2023 kicked off with a celebration of 100 years as an association for our American colleagues (ADHA). Being the birthplace of our profession in 1920 and then the first association of dental hygienists it is a milestone we can all celebrate.  After a cancelled flight and a 7-hour bus ride, I arrived in Chicago, USA. Your colleagues put together an excellent panel of speakers and fabulous entertainment. I was impressed by the dialogue we were treated to each day. Your House of Delegates members Kelli Swanson Jaecks and Tammy Filipiak and I did get a few minutes to chat between presentations and panel discussions. The conference concluded with a spectacular Saturday night Gala. Being flappers for the President Dinner was quite a treat. President Elect Jill (right) and Secretary Sharon (left) joined in the fun as well.

Although the festivities were celebrated there was a definite sparkle missing. In late June we lost a wonderful leader, a champion of our profession, a friend to many and above all a lady. Ann Battrell, the Executive Director of the ADHA passed away leaving a legacy, not just in the USA, but globally. She represented our profession with dignity and passion and her contributions will benefit her colleagues far into the future. God Bless.

Seoul, South Korea: A flight disrupted trip home to change suitcases and in 36 hours I was off to Seoul, South Korea. I was met at the airport by a smiling Kyung Mi, even though my delayed flight didn’t arrive until almost midnight, there she was with a bouquet of flowers and a smile. My interpreter for the weekend Jiyung, joined me in the morning and for the next 3 days I was treated to outstanding hospitality. Jiyung thoroughly enjoyed her role and being able to join me in meetings and social gatherings. Possibly she will be inspired for leadership in her profession. We enjoyed a brief visit to a fabric market, thanks to her Mom’s directions!

My three days were a peek into the future and ISDH 2024 by attending the KDHA Annual Conference. The Coex was a beautiful facility, sure to meet our needs. The conference was very well run with attention to each little detail. Be prepared to enjoy when you attend ISDH 2024, “The Dental Hygienist – The Center of Oral Health.” Photo: The KDHA Local Organizing Committee (LOC) for ISDH 2024 had extensive meetings with IFDH President Wanda Fedora.

I also met with our Japanese colleagues, as they also attended the KDHA conference, and enjoyed some very wonderful, and for a Canadian, interesting meals – very ornately displayed food in a traditional setting and new and old friends to connect with. Photo (left to right): Japanese President Naomi Yoshida and Korean President Yoon Sook Hwang.

The Korean and Japanese dental hygienists presented on the Environment of Dental Hygiene in their countries, past, present and future. I was interested in the issue of workforce issues due to low birth rates in these countries. The development of the profession has been steady over the years and they look to a future with more autonomy.

After a 26-hour trip home I relaxed for a few days at the lake side before returning to work and my clients. It was a whirlwind but wonderful July. It is truly an honour to be able to spend time among so many passionate fellow dental hygienists and feel your energy. Let’s keep it going for ISDH 2024

The count down is on!!

Enjoy your fall/spring seasons and be the dental hygienists you know you are.

Wanda Fedora RDH
President IFDH
2022- 2024

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