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Oral Health
Section Newsletter
Winter 2010

Chair's Message

Hello to the Oral Health Section!

As I begin my second year as chair, I hope we can all work together to strengthen the Oral Health Section and better serve our membership.

I’d like to welcome and recognize our new Section leadership team members who continue their terms or began their terms at the end of the November 2009 meeting in Philadelphia. Our new secretary is Natalie Hagel; new Governing Councilor is Woosung Sohn; new Section Councilors are Kathy Lituri and Gina Thornton-Evans. I look forward to working with those who are continuing their term of office: Howard Pollick, past chair; Oscar Arevalo, chair-elect; Amos Deinard, Governing Councilor and Policy Committee chair; and Giusy Romano-Clarke, Sandra Beebe, Lynn A. Bethel, and David P. Cappelli, Section Councilors.

This is the second year for Newsletter Editor Jay Friedman and for Program Planning Chair David Cappelli. We also welcome Gina Thornton-Evans as our new Web site editor, and Josefine Wolfe as our new Student Assembly liaison. A list of the Leadership Team follows later in this Newsletter. We appreciate the effort and dedication to the Oral Health Section.

A big thank you is also due the outgoing officers, as well as those who helped on committees, such as Membership, Awards, Newsletter, etc. Thanks to outgoing Section Councilors Beth Hines and David Krol, and Governing Councilor Oscar Arevalo. A special thank you to Kathy Lituri for her two terms (seven years) as secretary. Wow! Her dedication to the Section and how she helped us become better organized is much appreciated.

While APHA does much to support our activities, much of the Section’s success is due to the volunteer efforts of our membership. Please pitch in and help us improve our Section.

2009 Annual Meeting: What a great Annual Meeting in Philadelphia! There is more information in this Newsletter on the meeting events, including the awards received. A great job was done by the Program Planning Committee chaired by David Cappelli, booth coordination by Lynn Bethel and Kathy Lituri, and everyone else who helped with organizing sessions, the awards ceremony, the business meetings, the booth, worked as moderators, etc, etc. A special thanks to Gary Podshun for assuring that our sessions received continuing dental education credit.

The oral sessions and posters were very high caliber, and we thank the authors and presenters for making the program stimulating and informative. The oral sessions covered a wide range of topics, including service learning, health home, multidisciplinary diabetes care, IOM Oral Health Workforce Report, community water fluoridation, Healthy People 2020, dental care for those with HIV/AIDS, health literacy, state oral health program infrastructure and capacity, maternal and child oral health, improving access, and oral-systemic linkages.

Congratulations to Matthew Swan for receiving the Anthony Jong Pre-Professional Award, and to Gary Rozier for receiving the John Knutson Award. The Section dinner that followed at Estia was a festive, memorable evening for all. Thank you also to our sponsors whose generosity allowed us to hold our reception and awards ceremonies: Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Omni, a 3M ESPE company, and LCI, Ltd.

Our next Annual Meeting will be in Denver, Nov. 6-10, 2010. David Cappelli and Kathy Lituri are heading up the Program Planning Committee, and I am confident we will have another outstanding scientific program. I hope you have submitted an abstract. Make plans now to join us in Denver!

Healthy People 2020: The Oral Health Section continues to participate in the process to develop Healthy People 2020. I made comments at the Regional Hearing held in Philadelphia on the draft 2020 Objectives. We continue to participate with a group including ASTDD, AAPHD, and other partners to comment on the draft objectives. A joint set of comments on the draft Objectives was submitted at the end of December. Stay tuned.

ASTDD Partners Meeting: I represented the APHA Oral health Section at the ASTDD Partners meeting held in December. This one-day meeting was a great interchange of how organizations with an interest in the public’s oral health can work together to impact policies and programs at the national, state and local levels. Examples include our efforts in Healthy People 2020 and in educating policy-makers around health reform and work force issues.

Health Reform: I assume you are a bit taken aback, as I am, by the halt in progress on health care reform. I continue to remain hopeful for comprehensive reform this year that will retain many of the significant changes that will enhance our efforts to improve oral health, as well as the public’s overall health. I appreciate the efforts of all of you who responded to my requests to make your views known to your policy-makers about the ways to improve Americans’ oral health. We worked with numerous organizations to submit joint letters on several issues, including dental health aide therapist, provisions affecting Indian Health Service programs, and significant portions of the House and Senate bills that would positively impact oral health. We worked with APHA central office staff to include APHA as a signatory to these letters, and we appreciate their assistance. I may be asking for your help again as this process plays out.

New Members: Last, but not least, welcome to our new Oral Health Section members! Whether new to APHA or joining us as a second or third Section, we look forward to your participation as we strive to advance the public’s oral health. I ask that all Section members consider recruiting a new member from your sphere of colleagues and students. Existing APHA members who belong to other Sections can join Oral Health as a second or third Section for $30/year. There is also a joint membership pilot program to join both the state public health association and APHA for a reduced fee that is ongoing in Northern California, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Please let Membership Committee Chair Sandie Beebe know if you’ve successfully recruited a new member.

For those of you new to the Oral Health Section, we encourage your involvement in Section’s activities, whether on a committee or by running for an office. And for those who have already been through a leadership experience, give some thought to getting involved again.

We welcome your energy and experience. We are looking for more help on our Membership and Policy Committees, with local arrangements and booth coordination for the Denver meeting, policy reviewers to review and comment on new proposed policies that may be considered by the APHA Governing Council, and to review existing policies in selected topic areas for current relevance.

Please e-mail me if you are interested. Feel free to contact me or any member of the Section leadership to discuss your interests in participating in the Section or concerns you may have about how we can better serve our membership.

Best wishes for a wonderful, successful 2010.

Scott Presson


Oral Health Section Leadership Roster


Oral Health Section, American Public Health Association

Officers, Councilors & Committees Leadership Roster

November 2009 - November 2010


Chair: Scott Presson, DDS, MPH (2008-2010)

Phone:  (678) 778-4847



Chair Elect: Oscar Arevalo, DDS, ScD, MBA, MS (2008-2010)

Phone: (267) 738-2600



Immediate-Past Chair: Howard Pollick, BDS, MPH (2008-2010)

Phone: (415) 476-9872



Secretary: Natalie Hagel, RDH, MS (2009-2012)

Phone: (617) 636-3968



Section Councilors:


Lynn A. Bethel, RDH, BSDH, MPH (2007-2010)

Phone: (617) 624-6074



David P. Cappelli, DMD, MPH, PhD (2007-2010)

Phone: (210) 567-3186



Sandra Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD (2008-2011)

Phone: (618) 453-7202



Giusy Romano-Clarke, MD (2008-2011)

Phone: (617) 288-3230



Gina Thornton-Evans, DDS, MPH, (2009-2012)

Phone: (770) 488-5503



Kathy M. Lituri, RDH, MPH (2009-2012)

Phone: (617) 638-5202



Governing Councilors:


Amos S. Deinard, MD, MPH (2008-2010)

Phone: (612) 377-1020



Woosung Sohn, DDS, PhD, DrPH (2009-2011)

Phone: (734) 615-6622



Newsletter Editor: Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH

Phone: (310) 838-8157



Web site Editor: Gina Thornton-Evans

Phone: (770) 488-5503



Program Planning Chair: David P. Cappelli, DMD, MPH, PhD (2007-2010)

Phone: (210) 567-3186



Program Planning Co-Chair: Kathy M. Lituri

Phone: (617) 638-5202



Exhibit Booth Coordinator: To Be Determined


APHA Action Board, OH Section Representative: Lynn A. Bethel

Phone: (617) 624-6074




Knutson Award, Chair: Larry Hill

(513) 621-0248


Jong Award, Chair: Amos Deinard

Phone: (612) 377-1020



Membership Committee: Sandra Nagel Beebe

Phone: (618) 453-7202



Policy Committee: Amos S. Deinard

Phone: (612) 377-1020



Policy Promotion Committee: Jay W. Friedman

Phone: (310) 838-8157



Nominations Committee: Howard Pollick

Phone: (415) 476-9872



APHA Student Assembly Liaison: Josefine Wolfe

Phone: (210) 287-8826


Welcome to New Oral Health Section Members


We are pleased to announce our newest members to the Oral Health Section:

 Thomas Dodson, DMD, MPH (MA) & Eugene Mickey, DMD, MPH (MA).

And a warm welcome to new members from other APHA sections:


Donna Bister                              (VT) Maternal & Child Health

Karina Boehm, MPH                    (MD) Pub Health Educ and Hlth Promotion

Orlando Canlas, DDS                  (NM) Ethics (Student MPH)

Michelle Cravetz, MS, RN-BC       (NY)  Public Health Nursing

Marcia Ditmyer, PhD, CHES         (NV) Epidemiology

Meredith Ferraro, MS. PT             (CT) Pub Health Educ and Hlth Promotion

Veronica Greene, DDS, MPH        (CA)  pidemiology

Brian Hill                                    (CA)  Pub Health Educ and Hlth Promotion

Katrina Holt, MPH, MS, RD           (DC)  Food & Nutrition

Kathryn Jackson, MSN                 (KS)  Public Health Nursing

Arlene Lester, DDS, MPH              (GA) Pub Health Educ and Hlth Promotion

Lacy Mann, BS                            (OK)  Health Administration

Mildred McClain, PhD                   (NV)  Pub Health Educ and Hlth Promotion

David Mosen, PhD, MPH               (OR)  Medical Care

Christina Murphey, MSN,RNC,OB   (TX)  Maternal & Child Health

Noreen Myers-Wright, MA             (NY)  Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs

Edward Peters, DMD, SM, ScD      (LA)  Epidemiology

Ruth Picard, PhD                         (KS)  Comm Health Planning & Policy Dev

Christine Riedy, PhD                    (WA) Maternal & Child Health

Pamela Senatore, BSN, MPH         (CA) Comm Health Planning & Policy Dev

John Shoemaker, MPH                 (ME) Comm Health Planning & Policy Dev 

Louise Warren, MPH                     (WA) Maternal & Child Health

Nancy Williams, MD                      (UT)  Occupational Health & Safety

It is always a privilege to have new members from other Sections join our Oral Health Section, especially with the increasing recognition of the interrelationship of health issues. We look forward to seeing our new members at the upcoming 138th APHA Annual Meeting in Denver, Nov. 6-10, 2010.

We invite both current and new members to become involved in our activities. We need your opinions, suggestions and critiques ― the involvement and sharing of your expertise in our Public Health pursuits.           

Sandie Nagel Beebe, RDH, PhD      

APHA Oral Health Membership Chair




Denturists―Heaven Forbid!
The Kellogg report [
click here ] lists conventional dental providers in the United States as dentists, hygienists and assistants. Missing is one component of the dental work force that is all but invisible: denturists. There are about 300 licensed denturists nationwide in six states: Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Oregon, Montana and Washington. But there are also uncounted dental technicians who, like many abortionists, work undercover. Many American denturists are trained in Canada, which has 2,000 recognized denturists. Legalized denturists function in other countries throughout the world including Australia, Demark, Switzerland, New Zealand, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Surely, if dental therapists can advance American dentists, denturists should also be considered to help us along, just as orthopedic technicians support orthopedists.

For an excellent review of denturist issues and concerns on limiting their scope of practice, see Maine’s 2005 Sunrise report at:,

Is Consensus “Evidence-based”?

Rather than endorse APHA’s policy, “Opposition to Prophylactic Removal of Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth),” the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors’ Policy Committee “determined that it is premature…to adopt a policy statement at this time since there is not a consensus on the issue. We support the recommendation to convene an expert panel to consider the evidence base and generate a consensus statement.” [Personal communication to yours truly, Jan. 28, 2010.]


I replied that I do not believe another consensus panel would serve any useful purpose. “This issue is not about consensus. It is about ‘evidence-based’ practice. Any consensus panel would include representatives of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, which would preclude consensus. This, after all, was the outcome of the 1979 NIH Consensus Development Conference on Removal of third molars. AAOMS is too heavily invested in prophylactic third molar extractions to come to any other conclusion. Further, with the exception of AAOMS, there already is a consensus as reflected in the APHA policy.


“In opposing the APHA policy, the American Dental Association stated it is 'prepared to host a systematic evidence-based review on the topic in 2009….' Do we need yet another review to recognize that there is no evidence to support prophylactic third molar extractions? To be sure, some of the previous reviews have equivocated in their conclusion, but that should not be interpreted as approving prophylactic extractions. Quite the opposite: where there is no scientific evidence that the benefit of the procedure outweighs the known risk of harm, there is no evidence-basis for the procedure.


Jay W. Friedman


Can Periodontal Treatment Reduce CVD?

CHICAGO, June 1, 2009 --­ Cardiovascular disease (CVD), the leading killer in the United States, is a major public health issue contributing to 2,400 deaths each day. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the bone and tissues that support the teeth, affects nearly 75 percent of Americans and is the major cause of adult tooth loss. While the prevalence rates of these disease states seem grim, research suggests that managing one disease may reduce the risk for the other.
   [Posted on the dental-public-health-listserv June 2, 2009. See: The American Journal of Cardiology and Journal of Periodontology Editors' Consensus: Periodontitis and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease. Journal of Periodontology 2009;80:1021-1032.]
Editorial Analysis
If 75 percent of the American population eventually develops inflammatory periodontal disease and there are probably less than 5,000 periodontists in the United States, even fewer if the implant component is deducted from their limited practice, how in the world will all these inflamed patients be treated? If periodontal treatment can effectively reduce cardiovascular disease, perhaps all dentists should become periodontists, with dental therapists providing routine restorative treatment. Since all that good periodontal treatment will not only reduce CVD but also tooth loss and extractions, fewer oral surgeons will be needed, and maybe some of them will also become periodontists. We could produce more dental hygienists and encourage them to work independently in schools, colleges, universities, factories, nursing homes, military bases and prisons where people congregate; if we made all this free, e.g., tax supported, who knows, maybe there would be a significant reduction in CVD and some of the cardiovascular surgeons could then also become periodontists or hygienists.....there are just so many possibilities.

Rozier Honored With Knutson Award

R. Gary Rozier, DDS, MPH, received the 2009 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health at the Oral Health Awards Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, at the APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. It was a memorable evening beginning with a wonderful (and entertaining) review of Gary’s career accomplishments and life experience given by Alice Horowitz. The breadth of Gary’s accomplishments include his role as researcher and author (over 120 peer-reviewed articles), professor, editor, reviewer, panel expert, and past President of AAPHD. In his typical unassuming, low-key style, Dr. Rozier graciously accepted the Award, which was presented by Section Chair, Scott Presson. 

The evening was capped with a delightful dinner at the Greek restaurant, Estia, with 47 Oral Health Section members participating to renew friendships and enjoy the camaraderie.

Thanks to Charla Lautar and the Knutson Award Committee for their efforts and to Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for their support for this award.  For more information on Gary Rozier’s career achievements see the Fall 2009 Newsletter online at:

Alice Horowitz, Gary Rozier, Scott Presson

Call for 2010 Knutson Award Nominations

Nominations for the 2010 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health are now being accepted.

John W. Knutson was the first dentist to be president of APHA. He made seminal contributions to the understanding and implementation of the roles of dental health and dentistry in public health.


 John W Knutson


Criteria for the Award include:

·         Outstanding contribution to improve oral health in the United States.

·         Distinguished career at the local, state, national or international level in dental public health practice, academia, military, business or industry.

·         Leadership in the profession.

·         Significant accomplishments.

·         Past or present member of APHA.

Nomination procedure:

·         Submit a curriculum vitae or biographical information of nominee.

·         Letter(s) of recommendation for this award.

Please send nomination package to:

Larry Hill, DDS, MPH

Chair, Knutson Award Committee

    Executive Director

    CincySmiles Foundation

    635 West 7th Street, Suite 309

    Cincinnati, OH 45203


                       Phone:  (513) 621-0248

Contact Larry for more information.

Deadline for submission: May 14, 2010

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the APHA Oral Health Knutson Memorial Account. Click here for the Donation Form. 


Pat Westward Jong on the 2009 Jong Award

Matthew Swan looks like an extraordinary dentist, public health worker, and man. His interest in other people and cultures is clear by his living in Mexico for two years and learning to speak Spanish fluently and by working with Latino farm workers in the United States. Tony had, and I still have, a special affinity and gratitude for those people who work

 (l to r) Scott Presson, Mathew Swan, Judith Barker, Amos Deinard 
hard for very long hours to grow and pick our food and yet often, or usually, live near the poverty line. The work that Matt has proposed, working with dads re their knowledge of and attitudes toward dental hygiene for their children, sounds like a wonderful project that has great potential to improve the oral health of underprivileged children some of whom, themselves, may work part time helping their families grow and pick our food.

It's also great to see that Matt is able to manage all he does and still find the time to play sports ,including tennis Tony loved to play tennis and believed in the value of regular exercise. And I believe in the nourishing value of music, so I hope Matt can continue to find time to sing and play his guitar. What an impressive man. It's exciting that someone so multi-talented and dedicated as Matthew Swan has received the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Public Health Pre-professional Award, and I wish him best of luck with this project and his work in the future.

Addendum to the 2009 Jong Award

Matthew A. Swan, a senior dental student at University of California , San Francisco (UCSF), received the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Pre-Professional Award at the Oral Health Awards Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 9, 2009 , at the APHA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia . He has a profound interest in improving the oral health of Latino children. His project was a community-based dental public health study of Latino farm worker fathers and their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding their children’s oral health. More information on Matthew Swan’s project was published in the Fall 2009 Newsletter.

Thanks to Amos Deinard and the Jong Award Committee, Kathy Lituri, Award Administrator for their efforts, and to Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for their support of this award.  

The Post-Professional Award, which is supported by Omni Preventive Care, A 3M ESPE Company, was not awarded this year. 

Please encourage your promising students to apply!

Scott Presson

Call for 2010 Jong Award Nominations

     Anthony Jong

In memory of 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 APHA requests nominations for the 2010 Pre- and Post-Professional Awards:


The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Pre-Professional Award, sponsored by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc., recognizes 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.  Up to two Pre-Professional Awards will be granted each year. The award provides two recipients a $200 cash award, a copy of Jong’s Community Dental Health, 5th Edition, a one-year membership in the APHA Oral Health Section, the registration fee to the APHA Annual Meeting, a plaque commemorating the occasion to be presented at the APHA Annual Meeting, and two tickets to attend the Oral Health Section Dinner following the Awards ceremony.


The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Post-professional Award, sponsored by OMNI Preventive Care, A 3M ESPE Company, recognizes 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 one of the aforementioned programs 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. The award provides the recipient with a $200 cash award, a copy of Jong’s Community Dental Health, 5th Edition, a one-year membership in the APHA Oral Health Section, the registration fee to the APHA Annual Meeting, a plaque commemorating the occasion to be presented at the APHA Annual Meeting, and two tickets to attend the Oral Health Section Dinner following the Awards ceremony, hotel expenses (three nights, up to $600), and transportation to the Annual Meeting, up to $300. 


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 together with a narrative description (no more than 1,500 words) of the applicant’s community-based dental public health research or service project. Click here for a detailed description of the nomination procedure and application form.


The deadline for applications is May 14, 2010. Applications should be sent to:

Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Award Committee

C/O Magda A. de la Torre RDH, BS, MPH

Assistant Professor

Departments of Dental Hygiene & Community Dentistry

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

7703 Floyd Curl Drive MC 6244

San Antonio, Texas 78229-3900

Phone: (210) 567-8834, Fax: (210) 567-8843



Decisions will be announced by July 1, 2010


For more information about the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Public Health Student Awards, please contact the 2010 Committee Chair:

Amos Deinard, MDS, MPH 

E-mail  Phone: (612) 377-1020


Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the Anthony Westwater Jong Community Dental Health Student Awards Enrichment Fund at APHA. Click here for the donation form.

Words from the New Secretary

I would like everyone know how happy I am to be part of such a great group of dedicated people, our Oral Health Section. I look forward to working hard and learning lots. Until I

Natalie Hagel receives Secretariat from Kathy Lituri (r) at Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Nov. 2

stepped into Kathy Lituri's shoes last November - which are gigantic shoes to fill - I never dreamed of how much work goes into such an organization. And the work is all done with such passion and altruism!

I am honored to be part of the executive council and to serve as secretary for APHA Oral Health Section.

My thanks to our members for allowing me to serve.



ADA Plans Health Literacy

During the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting, Gary Rozier, DDS , MPH , Alice Horowitz, PhD, and Gary Podschun gave a presentation on health literacy in dentistry. The session covered preliminary results from the American Dental Association’s survey of dental team members that looked at health literacy and health communication related knowledge and practices of dental team members. The ADA National Advisory Committee on Health Literacy in Dentistry, of which Drs. Rozier and Horowitz are members, plans to publish the results of the survey in 2010. This APHA course is also described the ADA ’s Health Literacy in Dentistry Action Plan: 2010-2015, which is now available on  The ADA plan will be discussed, along with the HHS National Action Plan for Improving Health Literacy and a Children’s Dental Health Project initiative, during the 2010 National Oral Health Conference.

[Contributed by Gary Podschun]

Alice Horowitz Lectures on Health Literacy

The 2010 John C Greene Annual Lecture in Dental Research was given by Alice M. Horowitz, PhD, on Jan. 17, 2010 at the Scientific Session of the UCSF Dental Alumni Association. The title of Dr. Horowitz’ presentation was “Health Literacy: The New Imperative to Improve Health.” 

UCSF Dental School   Coordinating Committee   and the Lecturer                   (l to r) Jane Weintraub, Peter Sargent, John Greene, Alice, Bill Bird, Caroline Damsky.


The lectureship is endowed by the University of California San Francisco Dental Alumni Association in honor of the distinguished former dean. Now Dean Emeritus, John C. Greene, DDS, MPH, had a highly successful career in the U.S. Public Health Service prior to coming to the UCSF. He was the first non-physician to serve as Deputy U.S. Surgeon General. During his service with the Public Health Service, he rose to the level of Chief Dental Officer and Rear Admiral. He was a clinician, scientist, educator, policy-maker leader, and mentor.

The 2010 lectureship marks the third time it has been awarded. The inaugural lecture was given by Dr. Dushanka V. Kleinman; the second by Dr. Myron Allukian Jr.  

The University provides an honorarium of $2,500 and travel expenses.

DHATs Advance Dentists

Kudos to Burt Edelstein and Kellogg for strong support of Dental Health Aide Therapists, who not only benefit the public but also enhance dentists.

In addition to providing much needed oral health care to under-served populations, “…implementation of dental therapists and dental hygiene-therapists in the U.S. can further advance the dentist as the most sophisticated and expert member of the dental team and as a more central member of the larger healthcare system.”

Click here for the Executive Summary of Training New Dental Health Providers in the U.S., a report by Burton L. Edelstein, DDS, MPH, prepared for the W.W. Kellogg Foundation.

RWJF Honors Alaska Dentist for Community Service

Dentist in Alaska among 10 honored by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for “Improving Health and Health Care in Hard-to-Reach Communities   

Amanda Gaynor Ashley, DMD, MsEdu, dental clinic director, Samuel Simmonds Memorial Hospital Dental Clinic, Barrow, Alaska

Gaynor is being honored for expanding oral health services to the residents of this northern slope community and the surrounding villages. She created a program with the Ilisagvik Tribal College to train dental assistants, and instituted programs to fight dental decay among local school children. Five years ago, one in three children who visited the dental clinic was diagnosed with a dental emergency. Under Ashley’s leadership, the frequency of dental emergencies has been drastically reduced, and her clinic has trained members of the community to help transform the oral health of an entire generation.

Now in its 16th year, the RWJF Community Health Leaders Award winners represent the geographical, cultural, ethnic, social and economic diversity of America. They have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for disadvantaged or underserved men, women and children across the United States. They join a distinguished and diverse group of 163 previous recipients of the $125,000 award.

[RWJF Announcement, Oct. 24, 2009]


Symposium on ECC in Indian/Alaska Native Children

In November 2009, the American Dental Association Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, in cooperation with the Indian Health Service Division of Oral Health, co-hosted a Symposium on Early Childhood Caries in American Indian and Alaska Native Children. A small, select group of individuals was invited to participate, including representatives from three groups: 1) academic researchers with extensive experience in caries research; 2) career IHS dentists and pediatricians; and 3) individuals with expertise leading health research in AI/AN communities.  The preliminary objectives of the Symposium were to:

1. Establish a common knowledge base among Symposium participants of ECC in tribal communities, including past programmatic and research efforts to control ECC, the current ECC epidemiology in AI/AN and other U.S. children, and preliminary data from ECC research in progress.

2. Review the current state of the science about the initiation and progression of severe ECC, with special emphasis on the bacterial etiology of the disease.

3. Understand the limitations in generalizing the results of ECC prevention research done in non-Indian communities to AI/AN communities.

4. Identify cultural, demographic and institutional factors that are likely to influence clinical research and programmatic efforts to control ECC in Indian communities.

5. Develop research questions to fill in gaps in the understanding of why ECC is so severe among AI/AN children.

6. Make recommendations to the American Dental Association, Indian Health Service, and other relevant organizations for the next steps to be taken to improve ECC prevention and research. 

Click here for a copy of the proceedings from the 2009 Symposium (also available at A longer, more in-depth Symposium is being planned for 2010.  For more information, contact: 

Gary D. Podschun 

Manager, Community Outreach and Cultural Competence

ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations


phone: (312) 440-7847  

A True Story

As Told to Charla Lautar

Dear Dr. Lautar:

I wonder if you could help me. Recently, while walking in the Pyrenees with two friends, both professors of psychiatry, I

John W Knutson
told the story [my] father told me…several times as well as others. The professors thought it was a  wonderful example of an accidental and excellent experiment. They asked if there was any published reference for it. I’ve searched the Web and haven’t found one.

I know it was a long time ago probably around 1950, or soon after. Please, could you suggest people or places I could contact?

Thank you,

Paul Knutson

This is the story Paul wrote:

Water Fluoridation Implementation as an Accidental Placebo

Dad never actually called it a placebo. He told many stories about the fluoridation trials and implementation, the congressional hearings, and the many names he was called.

Some time after Grand Rapids, the PHS was implementing [water fluoridation] in another city, and the “switch on” was due to take place at, say, 4 p.m. on Monday. But there was a glitch in the machinery and they weren’t able to get things ready for Monday. Rather than announce the delay (and have to then announce the new date), they said nothing and switched on a day late.

On the Monday evening the phones didn’t stop ringing, with people complaining of the taste, stained teeth, headaches, etc. The newspapers and the anti’s had a field day (or a field “few hours”) before the change was revealed.

Items of Interest

Hot Off the Press!

New guidelines on “Oral Health During Pregnancy and Early Childhood: Evidence-Based Guidelines for Health Professionals” from the California Dental Association Foundation. This comprehensive publication derives from a consensus conference in Sacramento on Feb. 20-21, 2009, in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX. 


For the full report, visit:   

The Best Predictor of Dental Caries is Dental Caries

Aubrey Sheiham reminds us “that present caries status is best predictor of future status. Massler, et al, said that in 1954 and it still holds true today. Massler proposed that groups with a particular severity level of caries at 6 years of age would follow a ‘channel’ or track representing their dental caries increment. Based on annual incremental data they proposed that the level of severity of the caries attack, if known at certain ages, would allow the ‘prediction’ of dental caries susceptible groups and teeth….bearing in mind that despite past caries being the best single predictor, the sensitivity and specificity is not good.” [Personal communication, July 25, 2009.]

The Cosmetics of Rubber Cup “Prophylaxis”
“For the prevention of caries in children, dental prophylaxis need not be provided either at a recall visit or before the application of topical fluorides. For the prevention of gingivitis in the general population, dental prophylaxis at recall appointments is not effective for the prevention or treatment of gingivitis. Dental prophylaxis remains of benefit for child management and for stain removal and aesthetic considerations.”
Click here for Summary of: Efficacy of dental prophylaxis (rubber cup) for the prevention of caries and gingivitis: a systematic review of literature by A. Azarpazhooh & P. A. Main, BDJ

Retail Dental Clinics Can Improve Access to Care

The California HealthCare Foundation reports “millions of Americans, particularly those in rural and under-served areas, have difficulty obtaining routine, preventive oral health care due to a shortage of conveniently located providers and high out-of-pocket costs.” Consequently, retail health clinics are spreading to “big box” stores staffed by nurse practitioners who provide primary care at reduced fees, with referral to cooperating physicians for services they cannot provide. Surveys indicate support by consumers and retailers for similar dental clinics in big stores staffed by dental hygienists and other mid-level providers.

For the full report, visit:   

Democracy in Action at the NE Regional Board
Nominated on the floor, the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners elected our own Myron Allukian, Jr., DDS, MPH, as treasurer at its Annual Meeting in January. The NE Regional Board administers licensing exams for dentists and dental hygienists in about 30 states. If only Myron was on t
he floor of the U.S. Senate, health care reform would have been a fait accompli by now.

Author of the Year
The Fall 2009 Newsletter noted recognition of the AJPH paper on the public health hazard of prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth. Subsequently, the online issue of AJPH included short commentaries expanding on the Editor’s Choice. For those who missed it, click here

Policy Promotion
In the January 2010 issue of the Public Citizen Health Research Group Health Letter, a two-page spread of our APHA Policy, Opposition to Prophylactic Removal of Third Molars (Wisdom Teeth).
To join Public Citizen and subscribe to the Health Letter, go to


APHA Seeks Nominations



The Nominating Committee for APHA's Governing Council is looking for the following candidates for leadership roles in the organization:


  • APHA President Elect (three year commitment one-year each as president-elect, president and past-president)
  • Executive board – three positions available (4-year term)
  • Speaker of the Governing Council (3-year term)
  • Treasurer (3-year term)

The APHA Governing Council will vote to select these officers at the November (2010) meeting, and they would begin serving immediately after the APHA conference (so terms would start Nov. 10, 2010).


As I'm sure you know, the next APHA Annual Meeting is Nov. 6-10, 2010, in Denver.


Applications are due March 31, 2010 and should include the relevant (attached) one-page form along with resume/CV of the nominee, and any letters of support. The nominating committee will meet May 6 to select the list of nominees for consideration by the Governing Council at the 2010 Annual Meeting.


We hope you will be able to think of individuals who would be excellent candidates for the above positions. 


Should you or a potential candidate wish further information on these positions, please refer to the job descriptions and nomination form available on the APHA Web site at:


If you are interested in running, we suggest you contact your APHA Section, SPIG, Caucus and/or Forum leadership to solicit their support and assistance with your nomination. 


All nominees for the Executive Board are selected from among the membership of the Association, except that the nominees for  Honorary Vice-President may include persons who are not members of the Association.


For more information on the Nominating Committee, contact Ida Plummer via e-mail at

Editor's Request

The Editor would greatly appreciate Items of Interest, Letters to the Editor, and Opinions (opiniated or otherwise) for publication in future issues of the Newsletter.
Submission deadlines:  Spring Issue, May  3, 2010  
                                             Fall Issue,  August 16, 2010

E-mail to: Jay W. Friedman, Editor, at