ADA 2017 exhibitors donate supplies to Hurricane Harvey-affected dentists
December 01, 2017
Project: From left, Dr. Rita Cammarata,Texas Dental Association immediate past president; Dr. Jose Cazares, Texas Dental Association president; Charlotte Bolls, Greater Houston Dental Society meeting planner; Susan McKee, Greater Houston Dental Society executive director; Anna Gilkerson, ADA staff; and Val Eyssen, ADA staff pose for a photo with donated supplies collected at ADA 2017 to help Texas dentists affected by Hurricane Harvey.
— About two months after Hurricane Harvey hit eastern Texas, members of the dental community continue to offer support to dentists affected by the storm.
Organized by the ADA Division of Conferences and Continuing Education, ADA staff collected more than 551 boxes/bags containing more than 48,100 items from exhibitors at ADA 2017.
These donations can be distributed to Texas dentists who have received emergency disaster grants from the Texas Dental Association. As of Nov. 27, about 105 dentists in five districts have received emergency disaster grants, said Dr. Rita Camarrata, Texas Dental Association immediate past president.
"We're hoping to reach out to these dentists after the [Thanksgiving] holiday to see who's interested and what they need," Dr. Camarrata said. "Many of the doctors are not back in their offices, with some estimated to take up to six months to get back on their feet."
Products and items that vendors donated at ADA 2017 included 10,000 dental floss samples, 5,000 dappen dishes, 4,000 cotton rolls and about 2,000 latex exam gloves. Other donations included boxes of Kleenex tissues, surgical blades, tongue depressors, tote bags, disposable mirrors and disposable eye shields.
Freeman, the general service contractor that produces the ADA annual meeting, donated the time to collect and consolidate the donated materials. Through its relationships with transportation companies, Freeman also helped the ADA transport the materials to Houston for free.
Donations: Organized by the ADA Division of Conferences and Continuing Education, ADA staff collected more than 551 boxes/bags containing more than 48,100 items from exhibitors during ADA 2017 in Atlanta. The donated items will be distributed to Texas dentists who received emergency disaster grants from the Texas Dental Association.
"Exhibitor donations were a vital piece to this project's success," said Valarie Eyssen, manager, ADA department of conference services and meeting planning. "In addition to their presence at the annual meeting, our exhibitors went above and beyond to provide support by donating supplies to dentists in need. Because of the goodwill of our exhibitors, coupled with generosity from Dr. Cammarata's team, we were able to make a difference in a hard hit area of Texas."
Hurricane Harvey was the first of a series of major storms to hit the U.S. this year, making landfall on Aug. 25. According to the Associated Press, the storm was blamed for more than 60 deaths and caused nearly $200 billion in damage.
In September, the ADA worked with the Texas Dental Association, ADA Foundation, Henry Schein and other Texas health care leaders in organizing a symposium to help dentists, physicians and veterinarians affected by the hurricane restore and reopen their practices.
Dr. Camarrata said it was a smart idea for the ADA to ask vendors attending the Association's annual meeting to bring donations and an example of a local component (Greater Houston Dental Society), a state constituent (Texas Dental Association) and the ADA working seamlessly together to help dentists in need.
"It was good to tap exhibitors as another source for donations," she said. "I thought it was great that people nationally and the ADA were working and thinking about how to help the people in Texas affected by the storm."