by Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS
The executive council (EC) of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH) met in January to plan for the triennial symposium, the International Symposium on Dental Hygiene (ISDH) in Glasgow, Scotland, on July 1-3. We also planned the agenda for the House of Delegates (HOD) workshop and the HOD Meeting, and the ISDH meeting itself. While the ISDH is the culminating event of our three-year terms, there is much behind-the-scenes work that must be completed. In conjunction with the organizing committee of the ISDH, most of whom are members of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), we are planning the opening and closing ceremonies, the scientific sessions, and the social events.
Visit www.bsdht.org.uk to learn more!
The early-bird rate for the symposium is £220 (British pounds sterling), or $344 in U.S. dollars. Registration includes: admission to the scientific program (main and parallel sessions), trade fair or exhibit hall, opening and closing ceremonies, morning and afternoon refreshments as scheduled, a light buffet lunch on Friday and Saturday, and a delegate bag.
The IFDH proudly presents the first house of delegates workshop for member association delegates, of which there are 24. Together, with the generous co-sponsorship of Procter & Gamble Oral Health, the IFDH has contributed a significant amount of funding to support this valuable meeting opportunity. The workshop will be hosted in Edinburgh, Scotland. With the evolving status of the dental hygiene profession, it is timely to consider the current landscape and future directions of the profession, as well as that of the IFDH. The workshop is also:
• A venue for developing guiding principles for supporting each country's professional goals
• A chance for each group to develop achievable recommendations related to topics of interest by the HOD
• An opportunity to develop ideas for connecting with World Health Organization (WHO) issues to broaden our perspective
• An occasion for delegates to connect with others and recognize their value as resources to one another
• A focus on our accomplishments rather than deficits.
Topics to be discussed are promoting evidence-based dental hygiene practice, procedures, and products; disease prevention and health promotion for primary health care; promoting interprofessional collaboration, including communication and relationship-building across all disciplines within health care; and reframing the future goals of dental hygiene education.
The workshop will be followed by the HOD meeting. The House of Delegates is the governing body of the IFDH. The HOD will convene in Edinburgh on June 29-30. One of the exciting issues being discussed is the concept of special interest groups (SIGs). The HOD conceptually approved the concept of SIGs by mail ballot.
The executive council strongly believes that SIGs will enhance the IFDH and elevate our status around the globe. It is a part of the growth process of IFDH, and streamlining of policies and procedures.
The rationale for creating SIGs is varied. SIGs will provide networks of IFDH members who share common interests — a vehicle and a venue to share professional issues or concerns. If members belong to a SIG whose topic is exciting and relevant to them (such as hospital dental hygiene, education, research, or starting a dental hygiene program in a third-world country), they may be more active within the profession.
The EC's intent is that past and current HOD members will be eligible to become SIG members. In addition, we would like to open up membership to individual members who have a "special interest" in a given topic. This needs to be approved by the HOD, as well as the entire "Guidelines" document. SIGs could potentially increase the number of individual members of IFDH, and allow dental hygienists across the globe an opportunity to play an active role in the IFDH. (To become an individual member, go to: www.ifdh.org.)
On behalf of the entire EC, I welcome comments, questions, and suggestions, and invite you to join us in Glasgow.
The world is becoming smaller. Before too long, we will have a world without borders!