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King’s College London and Harvard to Work Together on Global Child Dental Health Taskforce


April 3, 2009
by Oral Health

 

King’s College London signs MoU with Harvard for dental leadership programme

King’s Centre for International Child Oral Health and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a close working relationship on the Global Child Dental Health Taskforce’s leadership programme.

The collaboration is to be led by Professor Raman Bedi, Head of the Centre for International Child Oral Health at the Dental Institute of King’s College London, and the Global Child Dental Health Taskforce and Professor Bruce Donoff, Dean of the Harvard Dental School. The Global Child Dental Health Taskforce aims to identify, train and mentor 400 dental leaders over the next ten years, who will in turn significantly shape the dental profession and drive forward its aims in the first half of the 21st century. The programme is designed to develop leadership skills specifically in the area of child dental health.

The Global Child Dental Health Taskforce was established in January 2006 after 40 senior dental advisors and chief dental officers called for its formation at a European Union Presidency meeting. Its aims are to significantly improve the dental health of children by developing Public Private Partnerships, to coordinate services, national educational programmes and to promote evidence based oral health messages. A key part of its strategy is to build a global network of national taskforces, headed up by local, leading senior dental and public health specialists, who work together to spearhead drives to improve oral health by developing cutting edge preventive strategies.

The agreement was signed by Dr Nairn Wilson, Dean of the Dental Institute at King’s, and Professor Bruce Donoff during a gala dinner at Chandos House.

Professor Bedi comments on the new collaboration: ‘This collaboration between two giants in the field of dental institutes is an important opportunity to train our next generation of dentists as they search for ways to push the serious problem of dental disease up the global health agenda.

‘The leadership programme presents a unique platform for open discussion, exchange of experiences as well as problem-solving, making it an invaluable forum for global learning and support within the profession. We are already witnessing the benefits of the programmes:  Many who attended our leadership courses went on to spearhead successful and sustainable national prevention programmes. This is the way forward if we are to see an eradication of dental disease world-wide.’

Professor Donoff, Dean of the Harvard Dental School, comments: ‘Harvard has a long and illustrious history in training individuals from all walks of life.  Now with this new collaboration we can upscale our work in the dental field. I am excited about the possibilities this collaboration can bring and the improvements we can expect in both the oral health of our global society and the way dental services are delivered.’

For more information on the Global Child Dental Health Taskforce, visit http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/dentistry/research/gcdht/. More details on the dental leadership programme can be found on http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/dentistry/research/gcdht/act/programme/.