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House OKs Health Screening Program’s return for 2011 session

Orlando, Fla.—By approving Resolution 71H-2010 to ensure the return of the Health Screening Program at annual session, the House of Delegates sent a clear message that research continues to be a top Association priority.

Since 1964, more than 60,000 professionals have participated in the ADA Health Screening Program—the largest national database on the health of dental professionals. The program has helped eliminate outbreaks of hepatitis B in dentistry and also has led policymakers to determine that HIV transmission is not an occupational hazard in dentistry, changing the way dentists and the dental health team provide care for their patients.

“As we gain greater insight into the relationship of oral health to general health, the HSP has an opportunity to provide the profession with a wealth of scientific data on complex clinical health relationships affecting the entire health care team,” said Dr. Dan Meyer, ADA senior vice president, Science/Professional Affairs.

The 2010 HSP was canceled when the ADA Foundation was forced to withdraw financial support during evaluation of all ADAF programs and activities and making sure they were aligned with its mission and status as a 501(c)(3).

With Res. 71H-2010, the House of Delegates has assured the program will be back in 2011, and the ADA Board of Trustees has approved the “expenditure of up to $350,000” to fund it.

The HSP program is a collaboration between the ADA councils on Scientific Affairs and ADA Sessions, which registers HSP participants and administers the logistics of the program.

“This is a great member benefit on several levels,” Dr. Kevin Laing, CAS chair. “Both councils worked together with the HOD to make sure this key member benefit was not lost, and will happen in Las Vegas in 2011.”

“The HSP has been instrumental on a number of issues related to dentistry,” said Dr. John Hellstein, CSA chair, citing mercury hygiene and infection control as examples. “Continuing the collection of data through the HSP will help ensure that the database remains current and will remain important to ADA members for decades to come. We’re very grateful to the House of Delegates for funding this very important project for 2011, and we hope that the Health Screening Program will continue well into the future."