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ADA, Health Volunteers Overseas Announce Rebuilding Efforts for Haitian Dental Offices

Initiative seeks to raise $300,000 by end of this year

Contact Information:

Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO, July 21, 2010 – The American Dental Association (ADA) through its Division of Global Affairs and Health Volunteers Overseas  (HVO) announce a joint initiative to help rebuild or re-equip some 30 Port-au-Prince dental practices damaged or destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year.
 
 HVO is a U.S. non-profit organization dedicated to improving the availability and quality of health care in developing countries through the training and education of local health care providers.

Nearly a third of dental offices affected by earthquake

The effort by the two organizations, “Adopt-a-Practice: Rebuilding Dental Offices in Haiti,” seeks to raise $300,000 by the end of this year. Port-au-Prince lost nearly a third of its dental offices because of the January earthquake.

 “With about 350 dentists for a population of 9 million, Haiti has the lowest ratio of dentists per population in the Western hemisphere,” said Dr. Samuel Prophete, president, Haiti Dental Association. “Our biggest challenge actually is to try to do as much as we can to give the dentists who lost their practices after the earthquake the opportunity to rebuild and stay in the country in order to better serve their fellow Haitians.”

“Because of the depressed economy in Haiti, even small contributions will go a long way toward putting dentists back on their feet so that they can resume their practices,” said ADA President Ronald L. Tankersley. “A shortage of dental care pre-existed the earthquake in Haiti. So it is critical that we do what we can to help restore the country’s dental workforce.”

How to donate to the Adopt-a-Practice fund

An estimated $10,000 can greatly contribute to rebuilding each practice, according to Dr. Prophete. So your donation—no matter the amount—can make an enormous impact in the communities surrounding earthquake-devastated Haiti. Donors can contribute to the Adopt-a-Practice fund at http://www.hvousa.org/membershipForm/haiti.php. HVO also accepts donations by phone at 1-202-296-0928 and by mail to Health Volunteers Overseas, 1900 L Street, NW #310, Washington, D.C. 20036.  Donation checks must be made payable to Health Volunteers Overseas and the memo line should read: ADA/HVO Haiti.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.