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Adopt-a-Practice

Dental societies, groups can help dentist colleagues in Haiti rebuild

It’s been 18 months since the nation of Haiti was devastated by an earthquake that left one million homeless, injured 300,000 and killed an estimated 230,000 people.

Image: Adopt-a-Practice

Nearly a third of the dental offices in Port au Prince remain in ruins, but the ongoing ADA and Health Volunteers Overseas campaign, “Adopt-a-Practice: Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti,” continues to enlist the help of individuals, dental societies and other groups in an effort to rebuild the 35 offices destroyed in the disaster.

Since the campaign launched in July 2010, the ADA and HVO have raised nearly $107,000. While the monies raised will help rebuild about 10 dental offices, some $250,000 is still needed.

“Dental societies and groups will find it easy to participate in the Adopt-a-Practice campaign,” said Professor Martin Hobdell, visiting professor, University College London, adjunct professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and member of the ADA Committee on International Programs and Development and ADA International Development Subcommittee. “The ADA has compiled a promotion toolkit with a wealth of resources, including a communications plan, ads, flyer, letter and a sample article for dental or general newspapers and magazines.”

Visit www.ada.org/5374.aspx#dollars to download the materials.

It’s easy for a component or constituent society to get involved. A dental society can enlist the support of its members in three ways:

  • Commit to adopt a practice as a dental society to raise $10,000 collectively. Members can remit donations to the society and the society can make a lump sum donation on behalf of the members. Dental societies will be matched with a Haitian dentist in need and will be featured in a future issue of ADA News.
  • Promote the Adopt-a-Practice program through dental society communications with the campaign’s ready-to-use ad, flyer, letter, news article copy and communications plan. Members can make a donation directly on the HVO website.
  • Reach out to dental students with the new Dollars for Dentistry campaign. The new campaign allows dental students to participate by donating as little as one dollar to the cause. Dental societies can use prepared campaign ads in communications to dental students and/or the flyer at an upcoming dental student function.

“It is our responsibility as dentists to help our colleagues rebuild their practices so they can provide much-needed oral health care to their communities,” said Professor Hobdell. “The Haitian dentists that receive support will be required to ‘pay it forward’ by donating their dental services to a very needy population, so your donation will help not just one, but countless others.”

For more information, contact Briana Fitzgerald in the ADA Division of Global Affairs by calling toll-free, Ext. 2727 or email fitzgeraldb@ada.org.