Oral Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2008

Highlights from the Annual Meeting

Highlights from the 2007 annual meeting by Dr. Howard Pollick:

 

The program planning committee, under the chairmanship of Woosung Sohn, DDS, PhD, DrPH must be congratulated for their outstanding work in creating a superlative scientific and social program. Committee members included Myron Allukian, Oscar Arevalo, Mayté (Maria) Canto, Amos Deinard, Alice Horowitz, Kathy Lituri, Moncy Mathew, Scott Presson and Ron Romero.

 

Here are some of the highlights (the numbers, such as 3241.0 are hyperlinks to take you to the APHA website for further details):

 

3241.0 Oral Health Literacy: The Dental Profession's Response

Expert panelists identified ways the oral health care team can reduce the information burden and more effectively communicate with dental patients and the public. Moderator: Alice M. Horowitz, PhD

Panelists included Rima Rudd, MSPH, ScD, Cynthia Baur, PhD and Gary D. Podschun

 

3351.0 Healthy People 2010-2020: Oral Health

Panel provided an update on the Healthy People 2010 Midcourse Review assessment of progress on the oral health objectives. This session generated a lot of discussion about the new process for developing the next iteration of national objectives for the year 2020, with concern that Oral Health must be represented.

The session was moderated by María Teresa Canto, DDS, MS, MPH

Discussant: Myron Allukian, DDS, MPH

Panelists included Emmeline Ochiai, MPH, Penelope Royall, and Gina Thornton-Evans, DDS, MPH

 

3425.0 How Can We Make Oral Health a Much Higher National Priority: Power, Policies and Politics!

Standing room only for Erik Olsen, AARP President, who described how AARP has initiated a public outreach program called “Divided We Fail” www.dividedwefail.org to work with all Americans including its 39 million members to help make both financial and health care security a reality in the near future.

Dr. Olsen’s remarks are made available here Healthcare reform: now is the time Organizer and Moderator: Myron Allukian, DDS, MPH

Panelists: Erik Olsen, DDS (AARP President), William Prentice, JD MGA (Government and Public Affairs, American Dental Association), Stephen B. Corbin, DDS, MPH (Constituent Services and Support, Special Olympics International)

 

4055.0 Oral Health Policy and Programs

Excellent presentations were made by Burton L. Edelstein, DDS, MPH, David A. Lederman, DMD, Sharon L. Smith, MPH, Charla J. Lautar, RDH, PhD, and Joel Cohen, MPA MURP.

 

4156.0 Is Prophylactic Removal of Wisdom Teeth a Public Health Hazard? Evidently.

Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, described the risks of iatrogenic injury from prophylactic removal of these teeth and the potential to reduce the incidence of injury by discouraging unnecessary extractions. David Holtgrave, PhD presented the dilemma of the consumer-patient in weighing risks of injury against the recommendations of dentists and oral surgeons for prophylactic extractions.

The session was organized by Alice M. Horowitz, PhD. Dushanka V. Kleinman, DDS, MScD was the discussant, with the session being moderated by Stephen B. Corbin, DDS, MPH

 

4323.0 A Tribute to Dr. Alice M. Horowitz - Oral Health Promotion Research: Where Have We Been? Where Should We Go?

The session was moderated by Dushanka V. Kleinman, DDS, MScD. Presenters included Amid Ismail, Harry Goodman, DMD, MPH, Rima Rudd, MSPH, ScD and Piya Siriphant, DDS, MPH, PhD. Dr Siriphant from Thailand provided an inspirational tribute to Dr. Alice Horowitz who had visited his homeland on several occasions. Gary Podschun presented a plaque honoring Dr. Horowitz from the American Dental Association.

 

5069.0 Oral Health Disparities

Concern was raised by about the termination of the Interagency Agreement between HRSA, MCHB and Office of Head Start. Very good data were presented on costs of dental care in emergency rooms.

The session was moderated by Kathy Lituri, RDH, MPH

Presenters included Haiyan Chen, MD, PhD, Stephen J. Clarke, PhD, MA, John Rossetti, DDS, MPH, Giuseppina Romano-Clarke, MD, FAAP, and Eugenie Maiga.

 

5134.0 Workforce Issues

Good discussion ensued from the panelists presenting on the efforts of pediatricians to improve oral health of young children, together with information on improving access for the underserved.

The session was moderated by Charla J. Lautar, RDH, PhD

Presenters included Karl Self, DDS, MBA, Thomas R. Konrad, PhD, Alison Buckser, MPH, David Krol, MD, MPH, FAAP, and Rosalia A. Mendoza, MD, MPH.

 

5189.0 Oral Health of Special Needs Populations

Some excellent presentations on what is being done to improve the oral health care of special needs populations.

The session was moderated by Lynn A. Bethel, RDH, BSDH, MPH.

Presenters included Paul Glassman, DDS, MA, MBA, Carol Tobias, MMHS, Yves Jeanty, MPH, Dolores Aguirre, Sandra Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD.

 

Posters were presented by (in order of poster board, co-authors not included)

3087.0 Burton L. Edelstein, DDS, MPH, Ann S. Goldman, MA, MPH, Amy B. Martin, DrPH, Linda Sprague Martinez, MA, MA, Shauna A. Marvin, BA, Tiago A. Coelho de Souza, BDS, MDS, Carlos Quiñonez, DMD, MSc, Lynn A. Bethel, RDH, BSDH, MPH, Donh-Heon Han,

3088.0 Mary Lashley, PhD, RN, Homa Amini, DDS, MPH, MS, Ruth (Toni) B. Pickard, PhD, Oscar Arevalo, DDS, ScD, MBA, Scott Presson, DDS MPH, Karen E. Peters, DrPH, William Maas, DDS, MPH, Pragati Sawhney, Sam A. Merabi, DMD, MPH,

3089.0 Amit Chattopadhyay, PhD, MPH, MDS, Connie Mobley, PhD, RD, Nadine S. Braunstein, MS, RD, LDN, CDE, Monik C. Jimenez, SM, Tiago A. Coelho de Souza, BDS, MDS, Magda A. De la Torre, RDH, MPH, Sandra Hayes, MPH, L. Susan Taichman, RDH, MPH, PhD, Sophie Arpin,

3090.0 Piya Siriphant, PhD, Hazem Seirawan, DDS, MPH, MS, Andrew W. Pope, DrPH, Ajey Bhardwaj, Moncy Mathew, DDS, MPH, John P. Brown, BDS PhD, Sara T. Pappa, MA, CHES, Janessa M. Graves, MPH, and Paul Glassman, DDS, MA, MBA.

 

Here are some images from the meeting showcasing award ceremonies, scientific sessions and some fun at Alice Horowitz's open house:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updates

Take Action

 

Use the simple APHA online system to send a letter or email to your elected representatives in Congress on a variety of issues. Go to

http://www.capwiz.com/apha/issues/ to find the Current Action Alerts and Key Votes.

 

Access follow up

The American Dental Association convened the first American Indian/Alaska Native Oral Health Access Summit, November 12-14, 2007 in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.  The summit was an excellent opportunity for key stakeholders to gather to discuss the many factors that impact the oral health of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people.  The ADA leaders and others who attended the summit learned a great deal about the daily obstacles to dental care faced by these populations and the providers who serve them.  The Summit resulted in the formation of seven action teams to address the multiple facets related to the oral health of AI/AN communities.  Each Summit participant volunteered to serve on one action team, and one leader from each group was identified to participate on the coordinating AI/AN Strategic Work Group.  The ADA agreed to communicate the Summit process, content and outcomes to the dental profession and use additional ADA mechanisms to “tell the story” of oral health disparities in Indian Country.  The ADA will convene the AI/AN Strategic Work Group and assist its members to coordinate their action teams.  The ADA will also provide progress reports on the work of each action team and develop and distribute a written consensus report that describes the work of the Summit participants.  To review the Summit report, visit ADA.org [http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/topics/access.asp#featured <http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/topics/access.asp#featured> ].

 

On behalf of APHA, Dr. Howard Pollick attended the American Indian/Alaska Native Oral Health Access Summit, November 12-14, 2007 in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. Several of the various groups indicated their support for the Alaska dental health aide therapists. For the ADA Summary Report go to
http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/topics/topics_access_alaska_summit.pdf

 

 

Member in the news

 

Congratulations to APHA Oral Health Section member Deborah Greenspan, BDS, DSc, having been appointed as Chair, Dept. of Orofacial Sciences at the School of Dentistry, University of California San Francisco. Dr. Greenspan is also President, IADR. http://dentistry.ucsf.edu/about/jdbf.14DEC07.pdf

 

Nominations sought for Oral Health Section Leadership Positions

 

There are several positions open for nominations:


1 Chair-Elect (two-year term followed by a two-year term as Chair and two-year term as immediate past chair)
1 Secretary-Elect (one-year term followed by a three-year term)
2 Section Councilors (three-year term)
1 Governing Councilor (two-year term)

 

Details on the responsibilities of these positions can be found at http://www.apha.org/membergroups/sections/elections/

 

While these responsibilities are often modified by the individual holding the office, the current and outgoing officers of the Section will provide guidance to enhance a smooth transition.

 

Contact: Nominations Chair, Dyan Campbell dyanc@pronetisp.net

 

Membership

 

1.  We need volunteers to help with the Membership Committee:

Contact Membership Chair: Beth Hines bua5@CDC.GOV
2.  The expanded Primary Membership option is a great opportunity to add additional Oral Health Section members
3.  The expanded Primary Membership allows Oral Health Section members to join another Section (or two)

 

 

New Policies

 

The Oral Health Section is submitting two new policies to APHA to be considered by the Joint Policy Council and voted on by the Governing Council at the 2008 annual meeting. Once accepted, they will be posted on the APHA website by the end of March. The proposed policies have the support of the Oral Health Section leadership:

1. Opposition to Prophylactic Removal of Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth) – Policy Statement

2. Community Water Fluoridation - Position Paper.

 

Contact Howard Pollick for more information at howard.pollick@ucsf.edu

 

JOIN APHA

 

MAKE AN IMPACT BY RECRUITING ORAL HEALTH SECTION MEMBERS OR

BY JOINING ANOTHER APHA SECTION

 

APHA has opened the door for members of the Oral Health Section to add to new members to our Section and to have a voice in other public health sections. Any member may now join up to two extra membership units in addition to her or his Section or Special Interest Group (SPIG).The small fee of $30 per additional unit will be added to your APHA membership dues for this privilege. As a member of another Section you will have the full benefits of that Section such as voting in that group’s elections or participating in leadership roles.

 

This is the time to take advantage of this opportunity to work with members of Maternal and Child Health, Chronic Disease, Public Health Nursing, International Health and other Sections or SPIGS. I encourage you to invite members of these and other Sections to join us in the Oral Health Section and to consider joining a second Section for which you have a special interest. Also, all members may join APHA’s newly created Forums which address cross-disciplinary public health topics and provide a common space for discussion.  Membership in any of three Forums – which focus on trade and health, family violence prevention and genomics – is free.

 

You may sign up for the new benefits by accessing your online member records at www.apha.org/about/membership, or during your membership renewal process.

 

No more talking to the choir…APHA is now a forum for interdisciplinary learning and decision-making.  This is a great opportunity for us to strengthen our Section. The saying goes: “Put your money where your mouth is.” Now is the time to put the mouth into memberships.

 

I am also recruiting for help on the Oral Health Section Membership Committee.  Please get involved and volunteer so we can better recruit new members both from within and outside of APHA, and retain more of our current members. For more information, contact Oral Health Section Membership Chair, Beth Hines at ehines@cdc.gov.

 

Knutson Award Annoucement

 

The 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 American Public Health Association 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 2008 Award, submit a curriculum vitae or biographical information and letter(s) of recommendation regarding the candidate to the Oral Health Section Awards Committee by May 30, 2008. Candidates who were recommended but did not receive the award in previous years may be resubmitted. Nominations should be sent to:

 

Andréa Azevedo, DDS, MPH

Chair, 2008 Oral Health Section Knutson Award Committee

2641 Curtis Way

Sacramento, CA 95818

Questions may be directed to Andréa  at: 

                                          andreaazevedodds@yahoo.com

916/284-1170(C)or 916/456-2328(H)

Jong Award

 

 

                              In memory of the late                             

                                                               

Anthony Westwater Jong                                                                                                                                      

and in recognition of his commitment to community-based dental public health,  his strong and highly acclaimed mentoring of students, and his emphasis on the importance of state, local and community based public health action,  

The Oral Health Section of the American Public Health Association

is pleased to announce the third annual student award categories for 2008:

 

The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health

Pre-Professional Award sponsored by

Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals

 

and the

 

The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health 

Post-professional Award sponsored by

OMNI Preventive Care, A 3M ESPE Company

 

Professor Anthony Westwater Jong, D.D.S., M.P.H., D.Sc., Associate Dean of the Boston University School of Dental Medicine and Chairman of the School’s Department of Dental Care Management passed away in 1992, at the age of 53, after a lengthy battle with cancer.   Dr. Jong was recognized nationally for his passion for providing community service and improving the oral health status of the underserved.  Dr. Jong, a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health had a distinguished career, including 19 years at Boston University and served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the National Institutes of Health, Boston’s Head Start Health Program, and the Bridge Over Troubled Waters free dental clinic for homeless teenagers in Boston.  In addition, he was active in the Massachusetts Dental Society and held various elected and appointed positions in the American Dental Education Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, and the American Public Health Association.  One of his many important contributions to public health and education was his expansion of the Boston University Master of Science in Dental Public Health Program to include Dental Hygienists for the first time in a program of this kind in the United States.

 

I. The Pre-Professional Award, sponsored by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, will recognize an outstanding community-based research or service project of an oral health nature carried out by a pre-doctoral dental student, or a dentist who has graduated within the preceding 12 months from an ADA-accredited dental school, or a dental hygiene student, or a hygienist who has graduated from an accredited school of dental hygiene in the United States within the preceding 12 months.  The application of community-based dental public health principles to the design of the project must be clear. Up to two Pre-Professional Awards will be granted each year.

 

II. The Post-professional Award, sponsored by OMNI Preventive Care, A 3M ESPE Company, will recognize an outstanding community-based research or service project of an oral health nature carried out by a dentist, physician, dental hygienist, nurse, nurse practitioner, social worker and/or other professional with an interest in oral health who is currently enrolled in: 1) an ASPH accredited School of Public Health, 2) a CEPH accredited School of Public Health or Graduate Public Health Program, 3) an ADA-accredited Dental Public Health Program, or,  4) a graduate level/university-based  program with a significant course of study in public health related courses, or who has graduated from such an afore mentioned program in the preceding 12 months. Though applicants are not required to have a degree in dentistry, dental public health or dental hygiene, the application of community-based dental public health principles to the design of the project must be clear. One Post-professional Award will be granted per year.

 

Please note:  Pre-professional Award recipients may apply for the Post-Professional Award in a subsequent year, but must submit a different project for consideration.  Individuals cannot apply for both the Pre-professional Award and the Post-Professional Award in the same year.

 

The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health 

Pre-Professional Award sponsored by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals:

 

  • $200.00 cash award
  • A copy of Jong's Community Dental Health, 5th Edition, (Mosby Title ISBN:0323014674),  courtesy of Elsevier
  • One year membership in APHA (Oral Health Section) to coincide with the year the award is made
  • Registration fee to the APHA annual meeting at which the award will be presented
  • A plaque to be presented at the Oral Health Section Awards Ceremony.
  • A ticket for the awardee and a guest to attend the Oral Health Section Dinner following the Oral Health Section Awards ceremony.
    • Please note:  The 136th annual APHA meeting will be held in  San Diego, CA. October 25-29,  2008.  The theme of the meeting is Public Health Without Borders. 
    • Travel and lodging expenses to attend the APHA meeting are not included in the pre-professional award.

The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health

Post-professional Award sponsored by OMNI Preventive Care, A 3M ESPE Company:

 

  •  $200.00 cash award
  • A copy of Jong's Community Dental Health, 5th Edition, (Mosby Title ISBN:0323014674),  courtesy of Elsevier
  • One year membership in APHA (Oral Health Section) to coincide with the year the award is made
  • Registration fee to the APHA annual meeting at which the award will be presented.
  • A plaque to be presented at the Oral Health Section Awards Ceremony.
  • A ticket for the awardee and a guest to attend the Oral Health Section Dinner following the Oral Health Section Awards.
  • Hotel: $600.00 (three nights, $200.00 per night)
  • Transportation to the annual meeting: up to $300.00    
    • Please note:  The 136th annual APHA meeting will be held in  San Diego, CA. October 25-29,  2008.  The theme of the meeting is Public Health Without Borders. 
    • Hotel lodging not to exceed $200.00 per night- standard room and applicable room tax, only.  Necessary transportation (Basic Air/Train/Bus) not to exceed $300.00.  Cash equivalent in lieu of hotel and transportation not available.

 

Application Procedure:

It is preferred but not required that applicants be nominated by a current member of APHA.  If the nominator is not an APHA member, s/he must be a faculty member who knew the applicant well during the applicant’s period of training. Applicants currently enrolled in a degree program must be in good academic standing.  All applicants are required to submit to the APHA Oral Health Section Jong Award Committee a completed application as outlined below together with a narrative description (no more than 1500 words) of the applicant’s community-based dental public health research or service project. 

 

The narrative description should include:

  • The public health problem or need, or public health research question, that the project addresses and why it is a public health problem for a particular community
  • The goals, objectives, and population(s)/community(ies) served
  • The applicant’s philosophy with regard to dental public health
  • Why the applicant feels the project was/is innovative in promoting the public’s oral health
  • The applicant’s role in the project
  • The roles of any other organizations, agencies, health professionals and/or disciplines, if any were involved in the project.
  • In addition, the applicant should attach the following supporting documentation:
    • A biographical sketch
    • A letter to be completed by the sponsoring faculty or public health professional outlining the applicant’s contributions to the project described above.
    • Websites, publication citations as appropriate.
  • The following contact information:Applicant’s full name, current mailing address, telephone and E-mail address. 

 

Applications should be postmarked or electronically sent by

Thursday, May 16, 2008 to: 

Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Award Committee

C/o Kathy Lituri, RDH, MPH

Secretary, APHA Oral Health Section

Boston University School of Dental Medicine

Division of Community Health Programs

715 Albany Street, 560, #340, Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-638-5202, Fax: 617-638-6381, E-mail: lituri@bu.edu

 

Decisions will be announced by July 01, 2008

 

For more information about the

Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Public Health Student Awards,

please contact one of the 2007 Committee Tri-Chairs:

Oscar Arevalo, DDS, ScD, MBA, MS, (859-323-6400) oralchair05@yahoo.com

Amos Deinard, MDS, MPH,  (612-377-1020) deina001@umn.edu

Kathy Lituri, RDH, MPH (617-638-5202) lituri@bu.edu

 

  

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the

Anthony Westwater Jong Community Dental Health Student Awards

Enrichment Fund at APHA

 

These funds will be used to supplement, enhance, and/or enrich The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health  Pre-Professional Award   sponsored by the Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals  and/or The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health  Post-professional Award sponsored by OMNII Oral Pharmaceuticals in a manner that is consistent with donor intent, time period, and event activities and within the guidelines established by the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Student Awards Committee. APHA is a 501 (c)(3) organization and as such contributions to the fund are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.  The APHA Federal ID# is 13-1628688.   Please note: The fund will not be used to cover the costs associated with the solicitation of nominees, the announcement of awardees, the expenses incurred by the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Student Awards Committee, to fund an event, reception, or dinner for the presentation of the awards, or for the costs of items not included in the award packages unless otherwise specified by donor intent. 

 

Checks should be made payable to:

APHA OH Section- Jong Account # 328060

and mailed to the attention of:

Natasha Williams/OH Section, Jong Student Award Fund

American Public Health Association

800 I Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

 

DTAF grant annoucement

         

          

Dental Trade Alliance Foundation

Grant Guidelines and Criteria

 

What is the Dental Trade Alliance (“DTA”)?

The Dental Trade Alliance is a non-profit trade association that represents dental manufacturers, distributors and laboratories. The objectives of the DTA are to enhance the success of its members and increase the demand for oral healthcare. The DTA promotes and encourages the development, production and distribution of equipment and materials for the dental profession, dental and hygiene schools and programs and dental laboratories so as to enable its members to perform the highest degree of useful service for the public health and welfare.

 

What is the DTA Foundation?

 

The Dental Trade Alliance Foundation (“DTAF”) was established in 2000 to focus on solutions to issues benefiting Dentistry such as:

 

§         Productivity enhancements for increased patient care and flow

§         Capacity solutions

§         Access to care improvement to help reach and serve more people

§         Collaborations for increased reach, impact and cultural competency

§         Citizenship efforts to better serve dental professionals, patients and their communities.

 

Our Mission and Objectives

Our mission is to fund and leverage initiatives that increase the awareness of, access to, and capacity in oral health care.

 

The DTAF has established a permanent endowment, and with focused fundraising and outreach is committed to increasing the grants available to support selected programs and projects that promote awareness of, access to, and capacity in oral health care.

 

Our goal is to be an enabling grant program that provides seed money and project direction to innovative, early-stage, potentially expandable projects that exemplify the DTAF mission and advance productivity, capacity, access, collaboration and citizenship.

 

Eligibility Criteria

Each proposal that is accepted will be funded up to a maximum of $25,000.  Applications are welcome from, but not limited to, for-profit organizations, dental organizations, dental schools, universities, government and/or community based non-profit groups for programs located in the United States and its territories.

 

Evaluation of Proposals

The DTAF Program Committee will take the lead in the evaluation of submitted requests for funding.  The DTAF may seek guidance in its evaluation of programs from the DTA Board and collaboration with the Santa Fe Group.

 

It is suggested that the majority of the requested project funds will be used for supplies, materials or new personnel not presently on the project staff.  No salary offsets or overhead will be considered for budgetary purposes.  The DTAF will look favorably upon projects that indicate budgetary contributions of their own resources to the project.  A planned project evaluation of the proposed scope of work should be a component of any grant submission.   The DTAF’s priority is to award grants to projects that can leverage additional funding and expansion in other geographic areas.  Programs that are solely local in scope and do not appear to be reproducible nationally or over a greater population , thus limited to attracting additional outside funding for future years, will be considered but may be outside the scope of current funding parameters.

 

Grants will be ranked and awarded based on the following areas:

 

§         Ability of program to address the Mission of the DTAF

§         Originality, creativity and innovation

§         Potential impact on target audience or goal

§         Sustainability of the program past the funding period

§         Ability of program to attract additional funding following pilot completion or build-up

§         Ability to use project as a model program for expansion in other geographic areas.

 

Grant Award Requirements

 

·         The DTAF requires awardees to submit an annual progress report on fund use and program progress.

 

·         Once funded, the DTAF requires the project director(s) to acknowledge the support it received from DTAF in any project communications, advertising or public relations outreach.

 

·         Grantees should be willing to present descriptions and outcomes of their projects at DTA and DTAF functions.

 

·         Grantees will be required to provide project-related program materials, photos and other media to the DTAF Executive Director upon request.

 

For more information about the grant submission and summart proposal please see the links below:

DTAF Grant summary proposal

DTAF Grant guidelines

 

National Public Health Week

 

The health effects of climate change will take center stage during National Public Health Week, April 7-13, 2008. As part of the weeklong observance, themed "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance," APHA will lead the charge in helping people, communities, and families recognize that adapting to climate change and mitigating its impact is critical not just for the health of our planet, but for the health of the people in our nation and around the world.

Changes in our climate are causing more severe weather events. Extreme weather conditions such as, heat waves, high winds, snowstorms, floods and hurricanes have the potential to dramatically affect the health and safety of both individuals and our communities. Changing ecosystems allow for emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases such as, dengue or malaria which are changing the spectrum of disease risks affecting populations. In poorer parts of the world, drought and floods often force people to move away from lands no longer producing enough food often resulting in hunger and malnutrition. Moreover, contaminated drinking water can result in outbreaks of diarrheal diseases leading to dehydration or death.

Few Americans will ever see the melting Greenland ice cap up close, or interact with an arctic polar bear facing extinction as its habitat melts. But local public health professionals around the country increasingly will be dealing with the impacts of climate change on the ground, every day. Join APHA as we work to create a healthier planet. Visit the official National Public Health Week Web site at www.nphw.org to check out the climate change blog and brochure, sign up to be a National Public health Week partner, or add your week's event to the national calendar. For more information about National Public Health Week, contact kaitlin.sheedy@apha.org < mailto:kaitlin.sheedy@apha.org >.

Word from the Editor

We are happy to bring you the Winter 2008 edition of the Section Newsletter, and would like to encourage everyone to submit articles for the next editions (Spring Newsletter from May 16 - June 16 and the Fall Newsletter from August 22 - September 22). We would like to know more about local oral health activities and successes that could be publicized to a wider audience.

 Please e-mail your submissions to Anuradha Deshmukh