Maria Israel Hygienists Fo

Dental hygiene in Israel

June 7, 2013
As president of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists, Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, addressed members of the Israeli Dental Hygiene Association at the association’s annual scientific symposium last month in Tel Aviv. Goldie reviews highlights of the symposium for the IDHA, which represents some 1,700 dental hygienists in the country.

היגיינת שיניים בישראל

(Assistance with this article was provided by Yael Carlin, RDH, Chairperson, Israeli Dental Hygiene Association)

Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a parliamentary democracy in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The Capital is Jerusalem (a fabulous place to visit!), the currency is the Israeli new shekel, and it is on the continent of Asia. The population is 7.766 million (2011) World Bank, and the official languages are Hebrew and Arabic.

(Left to right) Yael Carlin, RDH, Chairperson, Israeli Dental Hygiene Association; Ester Reta, RDH, BA, (first Ethiopian dental hygienist who graduated in 1988); Nechama Kafri-Greenberg, RDH, BA, (first hygienist on staff in an Israeli Dental School); Adele Shevach, RDH, MLT, Student Nurse and IDHA Delegate to IFDH; and Maria Perno Goldie, President, IFDH.
I had the privilege of addressing the dental hygienists from Israel at their recent meeting in Tel Aviv. Ester had quite a story to tell about how she escaped from Ethiopia in the middle of the night, walked for days, and was airlifted to Israel in the cover of night. She then became a dental hygienist and is still active today.

The Israeli Dental Hygiene Association (IDHA) represents the 1700 dental hygienists living in Israel, and was formed in 1981. IDHA holds meetings, continuing education programs and scientific symposiums. It provides members with financial and legal advice as well as assistance in finding work.

A journal is circulated to all dental hygienists every four months and there is an up-to-date website and active Facebook page. On May 29, 2013, IDHA held its annual scientific symposium celebrating 100 years to the profession. The symposium was well attended by about 550 local hygienists who enjoyed a large trade fair, informative lectures and even a cake for the 100-year birthday. The presentations included a talk by a heroic young woman about how her dental hygienist saved her life by referring her for diagnosis of oral cancer.

From Yael: “Also, the audience was very impressed to hear IFDH President Maria Perno Goldie talk about Dental Hygiene - Past, Present and Future.” The meeting was sponsored by Colgate (Israel) and they have 28 exhibitors.

Yael’s operatory at the Kibbutz Sdot Yam. Yael works primarily with individuals with special needs. I want to thank all the dental hygienists who shared their experiences with me, and offered their hospitality.
A special thanks to Yael, who was our hostess, chauffeur, tour guide, sometimes chef, and is a dear friend. Thank you. תודה

Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS

To read previous RDH eVillage FOCUS articles by Maria Perno Goldie, click here.

To read more about dental hygiene around the world, click here.