Drs. Gallant, Hart re-elected to FDI committees
September 26, 2018
— General Assembly delegates at the FDI Annual World Dental Congress in Argentina re-elected two ADA member dentists to their respective FDI committees on Sept. 7.
Dr. Marshall Gallant was elected to continue his work on the Public Health Committee, and Dr. Thomas Hart was elected to serve a second term on the Science Committee. Both were appointed to their respective committees in 2015.
Dr. Hart is the senior director of the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center and past chair of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, while Dr. Gallant, chief of dental services at the VA Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, is a member of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors and past chair of the ADAF International Programs Committee.
In a message to delegates before the election, ADA President Joseph Crowley said "Anyone who has worked with [Drs. Gallant and Hart] can attest that the high quality of their work speaks for itself. They truly are assets to the ADA and the international dental community. Their leadership and commitment to global oral health are exceptional."
Drs. Gallant and Hart said they were honored by their re-election.
"It's important to have representatives from the ADA and U.S. with the FDI," said Dr. Gallant to the ADA News. "By doing this work, America is at the table, and we have a voice, a strong voice. If you don't, the world will move on, and we won't be there. We don't live in a bubble."
Dr. Gallant said his experience with the World Dental Development Fund was among the FDI work he is most proud of. Established in 1999 as a program of the World Dental Development and Health Promotion Committee, the fund supports innovative oral health prevention and access-to-care programs for disadvantaged communities around the world. The fund currently supports and monitors seven oral health projects in Benin, Costa Rica, Mozambique, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
For Dr. Hart, his proudest accomplishment was developing a number of policy statements and guidelines, including being the lead on the FDI policy statement on evidence-based dentistry, adopted in 2017. "We are in the process of writing a white paper on antibiotic stewardship to update and inform the FDI community. I have also played an active role in the area of appropriate use of genetic testing in dentistry and in the challenge of alternative tobacco products to oral health."
"It is important to represent the voice of the ADA and its member dentists in FDI science endeavors so that the ADA voice is heard, understood and reflected in these efforts," Dr. Hart said. "As leaders in dental-related science, it is important to share U.S. expertise with the international dental community."
Dr. Hart said the FDI's work matters greatly to member dentists. "Through the FDI we can see dental challenges and issues worldwide," he said. "While there are areas that the U.S. plays a lead role, such as development of new materials, there are areas that we can learn from what is happening in other parts of the world and this can help ADA dentists. In the area of antibiotic resistance and particularly stewardship, a number of countries and regions have put significant effort into understanding problems and addressing them, such as understanding how to improve the way dentists prescribe antibiotics, and educational efforts to help the general public understand the issues in antibiotic resistance. Working with the FDI community has been rewarding and helpful in understanding the global challenges faced by the dental community."
In 2019, the ADA will collaborate with the FDI to host the ADA FDI World Dental Congress in San Francisco along with ADA 2019 – America's Dental Meeting. This joint meeting, with support from the California Dental Association and San Francisco Dental Society, in September will celebrate the ADA's 160th Anniversary and the conclusion of former ADA trustee Dr. Kathy Kell's term as FDI president.