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Oral Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2006

Message from the Section Chair

To all the members of APHA Oral Health section


Best wishes to all for a HAPPY HEALTHY 2006. 


My wish for us all is that this year be filled with peace, joy and love abounding.  If challenges and obstacles are philosophically necessary, may they increase our sense of purpose, enthusiasm and stamina when going for the goals, and always remind us that the greatest gifts are giving and gratitude.


The APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of fluoridation, was an action packed conference with a full agenda and a great spirit of partnership and vision. I want to present just a few highlights for you.


The Sunday meeting had updates from the Governing Council, Intersectional Council and Action Board representatives.  The theme for 2006’s conference is Public Health and Human Rights and will be held Nov. 4-8 in Boston. National Public Health week is April 3 – 9 and the theme is Designing Healthy Communities: Raising Healthy Kids, a great opportunity for everyone to highlight service in your communities.


There was recognition of the service of members that will be completing their terms: Julie Jansenn (Governing Council), Ron Romero DDS, MPH and Amos Deinard MD, MPH (Section Council). We welcomed newly elected incoming leadership Section Councilors Wanda Wright RN, DDS, MS, Woosung Sohn DDS, PhD, DrPH and Governing Councilor Scott Presson, DDS, MPH.


There are four open positions and we are looking for your nomination for Section Chair-Elect, two Section Councilors and one Governing Councilor, all terms that will begin after the 2006 annual meeting.   Look for more information on the upcoming 2006 elections in the newsletter and Web site or contact Jane Steffensen, Immediate Past Chair and Chair of Nominations Committee, at:


Our section now numbers 330 individuals with primary APHA membership in Oral Health.  A membership survey was compiled and distributed to all current and lapsed members by Amos Deinard. We are analyzing the responses, always looking to improve the membership experience and invite new members from all health care fields to join. A suggestion was made to create a mentoring format to welcome new members.


For the second consecutive year, the Geico Insurance Company awarded 100 one-year student memberships to APHA.  Kathy Lituri and Amos Deinard reported that the Oral Health Section received five of the Geico student awards based on the personal statements submitted by nominated students. The one-year student membership awards went to Jedidiah Noah Horwitt (BU School of Public Health), Natasha Khurana (U Maryland Dental School), Christine Keeves (BU School of Public Health), Janis E. Johnson (BU School of Public Health) and Michelle Thorsness (U Minnesota School of Public Health).  I would like to thank Corinna Culler, Clemencia Vargas, Kathy Lituri, Raul Garcia, and Amos Deinard for their nominations.


In addition, Kathy Lituri and Amos Deinard have been working on the creation of the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Student Awards 2006 that will recognize two or three students at the APHA meeting in Boston where Tony had such a great influence on dental public health professionals and the system. Stay tuned for the official announcement and call for nominations.


Myron Allukian presented a resolution supporting the Alaska Dental Health Therapist program in Alaska that was later accepted as a late-breaker by APHA and unanimously supported by the Governing Council. The resolution is available on the Section’s Web site at:


APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, MPH, and Section Affairs Manager Fran Atkinson visited Section activities and expressed their appreciation for input from the Oral Health section during the year. Dr. Benjamin worked closely with members of the Oral Health section during the year and sent a response to Time magazine’s “Not in My Water Supply” article. His letter clearly stated the position of APHA and the support for public water fluoridation. Immediately following the meeting Dr. Benjamin reached out to the Oral Health Section offering an opportunity for nominations for consideration to the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Public Health and encouraged members to volunteer their services as reviewers of manuscripts for the Journal.


There were visits from both candidates for APHA President-Elect to present their views and platforms. When it was later announced that Deborah Klein Walker, EdD had won the position. Several members recounted their beneficial past relationships working with her in Massachusetts on maternal and child health, oral health and anti-tobacco issues and anticipate many avenues to work together in the future.  In addition, Janet Holden, the Oral Health Section’s representative on the Intersectional Council and Linda Landesman, ultimately a successful candidate for APHA Governing Council paid a visit.

“Watch Your Mouth” (WYM) program summary was presented by Corinna Culler. WYM is a public awareness campaign developed by “The FrameWorks Institute” that emphasizes prevalence, severity, and consequences of poor oral health. They have framed out tips for effective communication of this public health issue.  To find out more visit:


We had representatives from ADA (Jane McGinley), ADHA (Katie Dawson and Tim Lynch) and Special Care Dentistry (Paul Glassman) come and present the major issues and initiatives of their organizations. APHA will join in writing support letters as needed, and working with these partners aligning for synergy. This was just Sunday!


Monday had amazing poster sessions, so many great topics and presenters that I actually sadly did not even get to all of them.  Plus there were great roundtables, and programs on innovative delivery systems and reducing disparities.


The Oral Health booth offered a full array of bilingual dental health education materials and resources. I want to thank all the Section members who staffed the booth throughout the conference.  We are known as the “Mega Booth” as we are co-located with the Vision, Podiatry and Chiropractic sections.  We also became aware of the need for our section to develop promotional materials about the benefits of belonging to the section, something we will work on and have available in Boston.  We’d love your input and ideas on this.


The Knutson Award ceremony honored Dr. James C. Cecil III for his distinguished practice both in the U.S. Navy for more than 25 years and for his leadership as the Dental Administrator in Kentucky.  I was honored to present the award. Dr. Cecil has been such a kind, supportive, courageous visionary for me to learn from and admire.  Gerry Feretti did a great roast and tribute. The section had our dinner at a kosher, vegetarian Chinese restaurant near-by giving Dr. Cecil, his wife and son, and many of our members a new dining experience.  Ron Romero will Chair the 2006 Knutson Award Committee.


Tuesday was the plenary session, The Science and Continuous Challenges of Fluoridation – 60 Years Later, which celebrated the science of fluoridation, the local and state challenges for community water fluoridation and the support that philanthropic foundations can offer. The rest of the day was filled with terrific programs on fluoride, an international panel of experts expressing variations on the philosophy and practice of care for the primary dentition, and integrating tobacco cessation in practice.


The social networking reception was hosted by Lucier Chemical Industries (LCI Ltd), which was greatly appreciated. The business meeting highlighted the key points of the Sunday meeting. All members expressed their appreciation and enthusiasm to Myron and his committee members for their months of discussion and success on raising the awareness and support of the APHA on the Alaska DHAT program.


We didn’t have the Myron Allukian Flying Feet Contest this year, but we did have a great group that went out and enjoyed ourselves with food, drink and laughter.


Wednesday offered programs on oral health workforce issues and the state of cancer prevention and early detection. 


My experience was a great sense of connectedness and accomplishment by the close of the meeting thanks to all the great work of everyone. I owe special thanks to Kathy Lituri, who as secretary, has done an amazing job of gathering information about what needed to be done and then organizing people and paper with the follow through.


There had been such tragedy with Hurricane Katrina’s disaster, then the challenges involved with the conference re-location and re-planning all the programs. I know that Oscar never dreamed he’d have to do all this program planning twice in the same year! I know that many were not able to come with the changed time and site. We missed you and look forward to ongoing connectedness through our newsletter, telephone conferences and emails. Please send in your concerns, suggestions and ideas to me throughout the year about how we can better support you as members and improve the services in our Oral Health Section. I want to recognize and thank Tim Cooke for his fantastic work all year hosting our Web site ( and newsletter. Please use it to tell us exciting things that you are doing and know about in your communities.


Fondest regards to all.  Can it be said too much ?  Happy Healthy 2006




Call for Abstracts

The Oral Health Section invites the submission of abstracts for individual paper presentations, poster sessions, roundtable discussions, or invited panels for the 2006 Annual Meeting. Suggested areas of interest include:

  • Effective Preventive Programs
  • Innovative Delivery and Financing Mechanisms
  • Oral Cancer
  • Oral Health Disparities
  • Oral Health Literacy
  • Oral Health Policy
  • Special Needs Populations
  • Work Force Issues

Joint sessions and sessions co-sponsored with other sections, special interest groups, and caucuses are encouraged. Ideas for invited sessions and panels are also invited. Abstracts will be selected through a rated review process according to significance, timeliness, and overall quality.

The deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to Feb. 24, 2006 for the Oral Health section. Online abstract submission and more information is available at:

Call for Nominations

John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health


Members of the Oral Health Section of the American Public Health Association are encouraged to submit nominations for the John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award. The Award is conferred annually at the APHA meeting based on the following criteria: a distinguished career in dental public health; leadership in the profession; and significant accomplishments.  Nominees may have had public health careers at the local, state, national or international level in dental public health practice, academia, the military, business or industry, and must be a present or past member of APHA. To nominate a candidate for the 2006 Award, submit a curriculum vitae or biographical information and letter(s) of recommendation regarding the candidate to the Oral Health Section Awards Committee by March 31, 2006. Candidates who were recommended but did not receive the award in previous years may be resubmitted.

Nominations should be sent to:


Diane Brunson, RDH, MPH

Chair, Oral Health Section Awards Committee

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

4300 Cherry Creek Drive South

Denver, CO  80246-1530

Knutson Award

2005 Awardee: James C. Cecil, III, DMD, MPH

2005 Knutson Awardee James Cecil (center) with previous recipients Alice Horowitz and Myron Allukian

The awardee, Dr. James C. Cecil, III, is the administrator, Oral Health Program, Commonwealth of Kentucky, and assistant professor, Dental Public Health, University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Dr. Cecil graduated from the University of Kentucky, College of Dentistry in 1970, and obtained a Master of Public Health in 1976 from the University of Michigan. He pursued additional studies in oral epidemiology (University of Michigan) and human resources development (George Washington University). He served 25 years as a dental officer in U.S. Navy, making major contributions to the Navy’s preventive dentistry and dental research programs. During his distinguished Naval career, Dr. Cecil commanded the Navy Dental Research Institute, was executive officer of the Naval Medical Research and Development Command, and was director of Dental Health Care Operations, Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery. He also served as senior consultant for dentistry to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. He has been a faculty member at the University of Kentucky since 1996. He developed a program to involve students in mobile outreach sealant program experiences. Since 2001, as the administrator of the Oral Health Program for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, he oversees a wide range of programs. Dr. Cecil has expanded local health department sealant programs and established the KIDS Smile Program, where public health nurses in local health departments conduct oral screenings, case manage oral health problems, and perform fluoride varnish applications. He has conducted oral health surveys of Kentucky’s children, adults, and elderly. Dr. Cecil has been a member of the American Public Health Association, American Dental Association, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and American Association for Dental Research for over 30 years. James C. Cecil, III is a distinguished practitioner of dental public health, with a career that has impacted many on the national and state levels.

Support for the Alaska Dental Health Aide and Therapist and Other Innovative Programs

The following resolution was passed unanimously at the 2005 APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The full text with references is available at

Recognizing that oral health is an integral part of overall health and well-being ; and
Recognizing that the American Public Health Association views access to preventive and therapeutic oral health services as vitally important for all Americans; and
Recognizing that APHA desires to foster effective broad-based policies and programs to help alleviate oral diseases; and
Recognizing that many populations, such as the Alaska Native population, living in remote and isolated villages, have overwhelming unmet oral health needs; and
Recognizing that children and adolescents of Alaska Natives have dental caries rates that are 2.5-5.0 times the rate of children in the U.S. general population; and
Recognizing that 60 percent of Alaska Native children under age 5 suffer from severe early childhood caries; and
Recognizing that dentists serving in rural Alaska remark that it is not uncommon for Alaska Native adults to be completely edentulous by the age of 20 years ; and
Recognizing that there is an overwhelming unmet dental need of Alaska Natives that has been longstanding and requires prompt action to prevent further unnecessary pain and suffering ; and
Recognizing that the Alaska Natives Tribal Health Consortium in compliance with federal law has developed the Dental Health Aide Therapist (DHAT) program as part of a comprehensive initiative to respond to these overwhelming dental needs in an established and effective way, which ensures program continuity and year-round services in isolated, underserved communities; and
Recognizing that the DHAT program is an expansion of the successful Community Health Aide Program initiated about 37 years ago that provides overall primary health care to Alaska Natives using community health aides; and
Recognizing that DHATs are trained and educated in a certified program with professional supervision to perform primary prevention services as well as routine fillings and extractions which organized dentistry has referred to as "irreversible procedures"; and the Alaska Attorney General has ruled that dental therapists may perform these procedures.
Recognizing that DHATs have been used successfully in New Zealand for over 84 years as well as in 42 other countries; and
Recognizing that in Saskatchewan, Canada, where DHATs have been employed for over 30 years, there have been no incidents of malpractice or any complaints reported to the Regional Disciplinary Board; and
Recognizing that recently organized dentistry has vigorously opposed the Alaska DHAT program; and
Recognizing that the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Alaska Public Health Association have passed resolutions in support of Dental Health Aides and Therapists; and
Recognizing that the APHA Governing Council has supported the use of expanded duties for dental care at least three times since 1966;

Therefore the American Public Health Association:

(1)     Actively supports the Dental Health Aide Therapist Program and other innovative programs and practices to help prevent and alleviate the great unmet oral health needs of Alaska Natives and supports innovative programs for other underserved populations;

(2)     Resolves to strongly support innovative programs aimed at improving access to preventive and therapeutic oral health services for underserved populations.

(3)     Supports efforts to inform, as needed, national and state health, public health and dental organizations and agencies, and the general public, of APHA's support of such programs;

(4)     Encourages the Governor of Alaska and other administrative and legislative leaders in Alaska to recognize and support the Dental Health Aide Therapists Program as a legitimate, practical and responsible program to help meet the needs of Alaska Natives;

(5)     Urges key members of the U.S. Senate and House, the Administration and other interested parties to support the Dental Health Aide Therapist program, including but not limited to the following:
·     Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,
·     U.S. Senators and Representatives of Alaska,
·     Secretary of Health and Human Services,
·     U.S. Surgeon General,
·     Director, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA),
·     Director, Indian Health Service,
·     Alaska State Board of Dental Examiners,
·     Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, and
·     any other key decision makers, organizations and agencies that should be so notified as needed.

Update from Alaska

The first cohort of Alaska Dental Therapists has been practicing now for a little over a year, and each one has been certified by the federal board and is operating under standing orders. They are doing great. The second cohort returned and began their practice in January and are undergoing their directly supervised preceptorship. That makes a total of eight. The Telehealth application for these new providers is also going well and may be of some interest. Information can be found on our Web site for the Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network (AFHCAN) at
On behalf of the Alaska Tribes, many thanks to all the public health professionals who support our efforts!

More details about the Alaska Dental Health Aide Program are available here:

Special Care Dentistry

A Special Care Dentistry bill has been introduced by the 109th Congress (HR 4624). Check out the bill's contents here:


The Oral Health Section has been actively pursuing links with groups involved in providing and facilitating care for special needs populations. Resources can be found on the Web sites of the Special Care Dentistry Association ( and University of the Pacific's Pacific Center for Special Care (

New DPH Training Program Announcement

The ADREACH (MPH/AEGD) is a new program that will offer training in general dentistry, at community dental clinics, and master-level education in public health.  The students in the two-year program will receive a certificate in AEGD from the Lutheran Medical Center in New York, and a MPH from the University of Michigan.  They will also receive a stipend, fringe benefits, and tuition reimbursement contingent on clinical production in the community dental clinics.  The AEGD component with the stipend and tuition are only available for dentists licensed to practice in at least one state in the U.S.

The ADREACH post-graduate or continuing education program is available for dentists or hygienists.  The full program will be offered full-time in June and July of each year.  Students may enroll in the full or selected sections of the program.  The topics to be covered will include, principles of dental public health practice, evidence-based dentistry (1 week), research design, general and oral/dental epidemiology, burden of oral and dental conditions, health promotion and prevention, program planning and evaluation, and community mobilization. Active learning will be promoted through the use lectures, problem-based learning, and discussions among teams of students.

If you are interested or have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Amid Ismail at (734) 647-9190 or at

Residency in Dental Public Health

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

The Department of Community Dentistry invites applications for a one-year full-time, or a two-year part-time, Residency in Dental Public Health. This accredited program is designed to allow dentists with the Master of Public Health degree or its equivalent to complete the educational requirements for Board Certification as a specialist in Dental Public Health.  The Residency prepares for careers in academic, federal, state and local health departments, community health centers, industry and the military.

 The Department has programs in epidemiology, oral disease prevention and health promotion, nutrition, cariology, sialochemistry, health services research and development, and cooperates in several school and community health center clinical programs.  Other resources to the program include the Texas Department of State Health Services, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, and the University of Texas of School of Public Health, San Antonio Program. 

 Financial support during the Residency in Dental Public Health may be available.

Further information is available from:

Dr. David Cappelli
Department of Community Dentistry MC 7917
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900
(210) 576-3200; FAX (210) 567-4587 e-mail: cappelli@UTHSCSA.EDU
Information on the University, School, Department and Residency is available at:
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is an Equal
Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  

16th Annual Public Health Materials Contest

The Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section is soliciting your best health education, promotion and communication materials for the 16th annual competition. The contest provides a forum to showcase public health materials during the APHA Annual Meeting and recognizes professionals for their hard work.


All winners will be selected by panels of expert judges prior to the 134th APHA Annual Meeting in Boston.  A session will be held at the Annual Meeting to recognize winners, during which one representative from the top materials selected in each category will give a presentation about their material.


Entries will be accepted in three categories; printed materials, electronic materials, and other materials. Entries for the contest are due by April 7t, 2006.  Please contact Allison Leppke at for additional contest entry information.

CIGNA Launches Enhanced Oral Health Benefit During Pregnancy

The benefit enhancement for members with both CIGNA medical and fully insured dental coverage covers periodontal scaling and root planing at 100 percent when performed during pregnancy; an additional cleaning during pregnancy for women who don't require scaling and root planing, based on the potential risk of "pregnancy gingivitis"; and treatment of inflamed gingiva around wisdom teeth during pregnancy at 100 percent. The decision to create this maternity benefit was based on published studies regarding the possible correlation between periodontal disease and premature, low birth-weight babies, and the desire to remove barriers that might keep expectant mothers from getting the proper oral care they need. The full news release is at:

Dental Public Health Listserv

Where can you find discussion of important issues in public health dentistry? Find answers to your questions? Be kept up to date with new developments? Find job postings? On the dental public health listserv, run by Bob Weyant and given courtesy space on the University of Pittsburgh server. It is open to anyone with an interest in oral health and public health.

To subscribe, send an e-mail from the address you wish to use for the list with the word subscribe in the body of the text (leave the Subject line blank) to: <>.