Volunteer Opportunities Available
Through ADA and HVO.
knows no boundaries. Unfortunately, the need for dental services on behalf of
the underserved populations is so great that demand for oral health care
volunteers always exceeds the supply. The American Dental Association (ADA) is a
strong advocate of volunteerism and encourages its members and others in the
health community to share their time and talents with those in developing areas
across the globe. In order to promote and encourage overseas volunteer
activities the Association participates in and sponsors several programs.
The ADA Center
for International Development and Affairs and Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO)
collaborate to offer several worldwide volunteer opportunities for U.S. and
Canadian licensed dentists. HVO is a private non-profit organization committed
to improving health care in developing countries through training and education.
By emphasizing teaching rather than service, HVO aims to create a group of
trained local dental professionals who can teach others. This builds an ongoing
capability that will benefit the population long after the volunteer has
departed. Interested dentists view a list of current opportunities at http://www.ada.org/ada/international/volunteer/overseas.asp
or are encouraged to contact HVO directly at (202)296-0928.
Apart from the ADA/HVO programs there are numerous U.S. based
organizations that sponsor and organize oral health care volunteer programs not
only for dentists, but for several categories of oral health care professionals.
In fact, to assist prospective volunteers learn about overseas volunteerism and
choose a specific program, the ADA has a booklet, International
Dental Volunteer Organizations: A Guide to Service and a Directory of Programs.This
guide is complimentary to ADA members and can also be downloaded at http://www.ada.org/ada/international/volunteer/ivo.asp.
To acknowledge those who have selflessly volunteered their time and
talents, the Association has instituted programs to recognize such efforts.The
Certificate of Recognition for Volunteer Service in a Foreign Country honors
dentists and dental student volunteers who have spent at least 14 days in a
24-month period performing dental services in a foreign country. More
information can be found at http://www.ada.org/ada/international/volunteer/certificate.asp.
recognition to another level, the American Dental Association recently announced
the inception of the new ADA Humanitarian
Award. This prestigious award
recognizes dentist members who have distinguished themselves by outstanding,
unselfish leadership and contributions to their fellow human beings in the field
of dentistry, through the dedication of extraordinary time and professional
skills to improve the oral health of underserved populations in the United
States or abroad. The award
recognizes individual volunteer commitment and leadership that has had a broad
impact on oral health and the improvement of the human condition.
to learn more.
real, “reward”, of volunteerism does not come in the form of a certificate
or plaque, but rather the satisfaction of knowing that one has made a lasting
impact on another’s life. Whether through the ADA or another organization,
there is a suitable volunteer opportunity for everyone!