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Groups collaborate during Diversity Summit Presidents' Joint Leadership Program

November 16, 2015

By Jennifer Garvin


Leaders unite: From left, Dr. Amarillis Jacobo, president-elect of the Hispanic Dental Association; Dr. Winifred Booker, member of the executive board of the Society of American Indian Dentists; Dr. Judy Greenlea Taylor, president-elect of the National Dental Association; and Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, president-elect of the American Dental Association, smile during the Diversity Summit Presidents' Joint Leadership Program. Photo by EZ Event Photography
The Diversity Summit Presidents' Joint Leadership Program was held Nov. 4 at the Marriott Marquis.

A joint collaboration of the ADA, American Association of Women Dentists, Hispanic Dental Association, National Dental Association and Society of American Indian Dentists, the annual program gives participants the opportunity to connect with leaders from these key organizations.

This year, about 60 dentists from all of the organizations' national, state and local societies came together to discuss collaboration ideas and network on the best ways to build mutual trust and seek common ground.

They also developed action plans for future consideration.

"We are stronger together. We must leverage our uniqueness for the greater good of oral health care," said Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays, ADA president-elect, of the event.

Dr. Judy Greenlea Taylor, president-elect, National Dental Association, agreed saying, "Our collaboration promotes unity and commitment to increasing diversity in dentistry, as well as access to care for diverse communities."

The event was moderated by Ashleigh Rossette, Ph.D., who was the facilitator of the 2010 National Summit on Diversity in Dentistry.

Dr. Rossette led participants through roundtable discussions and encouraged dialogue.

"Our associations share some common goals, including increasing diversity in dental students and faculty and enhancing access to care," said Dr. Amarillis Jacobo, president-elect, Hispanic Dental Association.

"We have a real opportunity to work together to move our goals forward and make a true difference."

Dr. Winifred Booker, a member of the executive board of the Society of American Indian Dentists, "My personal philosophy is "all for dentistry and dentistry for all. As a collective group we can positively impact equity in health care."