Posted August 3, 2011

Temple-backed alliance will promote oral health globally

Ryan S. Brandenberg / Temple University
Signing the inaugural charter of the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders are Steve Kress, vice president of global professional relations for Henry Schein, Inc.; Musa Bajali, vice president, faculty of dentistry, Al-Quds University in Palestine; Amid Ismail, dean of Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry; and Adams Stabholz, dean of the Hebrew University-Hadassah in Israel.

Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry Dean Amid Ismail was among the oral health representatives from academia and industry to sign the inaugural charter to form the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders in a ceremony August 3 at the Temple Performing Arts Center.

The Kornberg School of Dentistry is one of the alliance’s inaugural signatories, and Ismail will serve as the first chairman of the international organization, which will work to promote peace and provide critical oral health care in areas of conflict, crisis and need.

“A lot of the conflict in the world is due to lack of understanding and appreciation for the other side’s point of view,” said Ismail. “Dentists talk the same language, have the same tools and use the same procedures. So we want to create an international organization that uses oral health to cross borders — whether they are geographic, political, economic or mental borders — that will nurture and support programs that meet critical needs, while also promoting peace.”

Similar to “Doctors Without Borders,” the new alliance will develop an infrastructure, management system and logistics to provide a rapid response to oral health concerns around the world, while working to promote peace by building bridges between groups of people.

“Whenever there is a crisis somewhere in the world, we hold a lot of meetings and talk. But the reality requires action, which is the goal of this alliance,” said Ismail.