The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), the advocate for The Safest Dental Visit, announced its leadership awards’ recipients during its annual symposium May 28-30 in Baltimore. Therese Long, executive director of OSAP, was recognized with the 18th Annual Dr. James J. Crawford Award, which is given for lifetime achievement in the field of dental infection control. Henry Schein Dental and Patterson Dental were co-recipients of the 14th Annual Dr. Milton Schaefer Award for their superior service and ongoing contributions to OSAP.
The Dr. James J. Crawford Award is named in honor of one of the founding fathers of dental infection control. Awardees have made major contributions in science, education, or public policy related to OSAP’s core competencies of infection control and patient and provider safety. The boards of directors of OSAP and the OSAP Foundation chose to recognize Therese Long for her long service as executive director (she was the organization’s first full-time director). “For 20 years, as ‘the heart and soul of OSAP,’ Therese Long has been a tireless and passionate advocate for patient and provider safety in oral health care,” said Dr. John O’Keefe, chairman of the OSAP Board of Directors. “The members of the OSAP Board were unanimous in their delight at being able to recognize Therese’s work by conferring the 2015 James J. Crawford Award on her.” Over the past two decades, Long has become the international face for the organization and through her advocacy, OSAP has developed into a respected organization dedicated to advancing safe oral health care. Under her guidance the organization obtained IRS recognition, launched the OSAP Foundation, formed valuable partnerships that expanded the organization’s reach, and created innovative, memorable, and effective programs and campaigns. She has served OSAP members with passion and a deep commitment to the organization’s mission.
The Dr. Milton Schaefer Award recognizes nominees whose efforts have resulted in tangible benefits to the continuing advancement of OSAP’s mission to be the world’s leading advocate for the safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare. Henry Schein Dental and Patterson Dental have conducted social responsibility campaigns that generated funding for OSAP dental safety initiatives and provided additional value to OSAP corporate members. Both companies have donated advertising and in-kind services, supported key executives serving on OSAP boards, and have elevated their level of commitment to OSAP and dental safety by becoming organizational Super Sponsors. While the companies are key competitors, they come together under the banner of infection control to collaborate on every OSAP initiative including, most recently, the Safest Dental Visit campaign.
The 13th Annual Bette & Paul Schwarz Award was given to Jill Hunt. The award honors volunteer spirit and is named for a couple who for many years managed all of the volunteer activities associated with the annual symposium. Jill Hunt is well known for her participation and contributions to the OSAP auction, and has been very involved in making international symposium participants feel welcome. She was singled out for her high energy, infectious sense of humor, and positive attitude.
This year, OSAP introduced a new award: Emerging Infection Control Leader. The goal for the award is to help develop and promote the next generation of stars in the field of dental infection prevention and safety by identifying outstanding new infection control advocates. The 1st Emerging Infection Control Lead Award was given to Jessica Wilson, a national speaker, trainer, and educator who focuses on infection prevention and compliance. Wilson is employed by Hu-Friedy as an Instrument Management and Infection Prevention Specialist and has worked with hundreds of dental practices to help them understand compliance regulations and best practices.
The OSAP Symposium features nationally and internationally known authorities discussing current and emerging issues relating to infection prevention and safety in oral healthcare settings. This year’s symposium opened with a welcome from Katherine Weno, DDS, JD, director of the Division of Oral Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She provided an update on the strategic direction for that CDC division. The Dr. John S. Zapp Memorial Lecture was given by L. Clifford McDonald, MD, FACP, FSHEA, the Chief of the Prevention and Response Branch in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC. He discussed the challenges of emerging and re-emerging diseases, Clostridium difficile, and antibiotic resistance. Other highlights included a global HIV update; a review of the Dental Patient Safety Initiative; new information on cleaning and sterilization of instruments, waterlines, and handpieces; special interest group breakout sessions, and a presentation on what dental practitioners should know about post-exposure management.
Key content from the symposium will be summarized in the OSAP Symposium Proceedings, which will be available from the OSAP website soon. The Proceedings document provides summaries of the presentations and essential resources for further study. It is useful both for attendees who want to reinforce and revisit the content presented and for people who were unable to attend this year’s symposium.
The annual OSAP Symposium is the premier infection control education and networking event in the dental industry. Experts from leading research and educational facilities, government agencies, industry, and clinical practice lead workshops, give talks, and provide hands-on exercises for attendees. The OSAP Symposium provides a unique opportunity to mingle with and learn from the leading authorities in the critical and rapidly changing field of infection prevention and safety in oral healthcare. Next year’s symposium will be held June 2-4 in San Diego, CA. Prospective participants are encouraged to save the date and watch the OSAP website for updates and early-bird registration. Call 800- 298-OSAP (6727) or 410-571-0003 or visit www.osap.org for additional information.
Celebrating over 30 years of service to the worldwide dental community, OSAP is a growing community of clinicians, educators, students, policy-makers, and industry representatives who advocate for safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare. OSAP focuses on strategies to improve compliance with safe practices and on building a strong network of recognized infection control experts. OSAP offers an extensive online collection of resources, publications, FAQs, checklists and toolkits to help dental professionals ensure that every visit is The Safest Dental Visit™ for patients and the dental team.
Caption: Mike Smurr, Director of Marketing, Merchandise, for Patterson Dental and Marguerite Walsh, Vice President, Product Merchandising for Henry Schein Dental accept their awards.