Building strong ties from Europe to Asia

29 May 2019


Dr Kell with FDI Treasure Dr Cottrell and APDC President

FDI President Kathy Kell

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President

My month of May was filled with exciting events with colleagues and friends in Italy, Germany, and Korea. I’m grateful for our global community.

Supporting women’s leadership in the oral health community

Beautiful springtime weather welcomed me to the University of Brescia in Italy, where I attended the American Dental Education Association’s International Women’s Leadership Conference VI (ADEA IWLC). First established in 1999, the conference is a long-standing initiative centered on supporting gender equity in oral health around the world.

Dr Kell at the Women Leader's conference

I was delighted to visit with old friends and meet many new colleagues during the event. I was introduced to our charming host, Prof. Corrado Paganelli, dean of University of Brescia Dental School and president of the International Federation of Dental Educators and Association’s (IFDEA). I was also pleased to catch up with ADEA IWLC Chair Dr Lily T. Garcia, associate dean for education in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Iowa, and Dr Lois Cohen, Paul G. Rogers Ambassador for Global Health Research. Both women are exemplary leaders in advancing oral health outcomes around the world. The three of us have gotten to know one another very well after having attended five out of the six previous ADEA IWLC meetings together, so we had a lot to catch up on.

This conference brings together women in dental education from all over the world and at all stages of their careers to explore their personal growth as leaders, their contributions to their institutions, and their commitment to global oral health. It was encouraging to be in a trusting environment where we could discuss personal issues with one another and openly share our experiences working in the dental profession.

Other attendees from FDI included Continuing Education Programme Director for Africa Dr Yolande Koffi Gnagne, who led a very inspiring session, as well as Dr Simona Dianiskova, who was recently elected president-elect of FDI’s European Regional Organization (ERO).

Strengthening FDI’s ties in Europe

From Italy, I flew to Frankfurt for the FDI ERO meeting.

I always enjoy listening to the ERO working groups highlight the issues they face not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world. Topics included the liberal (private) practice of dentistry, ageing populations, responsibilities within the dental team, excessive regulations, the oversupply of dentists in certain areas, young dentists becoming involved in the profession, safety in the dental office, and healthcare ethics.

There was the “passing of the chain” ceremony from President Dr Anna Lella (Poland) to the newly elected president, Dr Michael Frank (Germany). Dr Simona Dianiskova (Slovakia) became the new president-elect. Dr Taner Yucel (Turkey) was elected secretary general, Dr Oliver Zeyer (Germany) was elected treasurer, and Dr Edoardo Cavalle (Italy) became a new Council member.

Many congratulations to all the new ERO Board members!

Honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award

At the beginning of May I travelled to the 41st Asia Pacific Dental Congress (APDC) in Seoul, Korea. It was great to be back in Seoul again: last time was for the 1997 FDI World Dental Congress, hosted together with the Korean Dental Association.

I was privileged to receive the APDC Lifetime Achievement Award during the spectacular opening ceremony celebration. After that, there was the very touching “passing of the chain” ceremony from APDF/APRO President Dr Fernando M. Fernandez (the Philippines) to President Dr Cheol-Soo Kim (Korea) that was followed by a flag ceremony representing all the countries attending.

Dr Kell at the Asia Pacific Dental Congress
©AFDC 2019

I was also impressed by a rather unique event at the APDC: an exhibition of artwork and photography done by dentists in attendance. Many dentists have amazing hobbies and I’m always interested in the talents that dentists exercise outside of the profession. Professional art and photography critics judged the submissions and awarded a number of prizes.

Another inspiring event was the first (and hopefully not the last!) Women Dentists Asia-Pacific Forum. Like the ADEA IWLC, it was inspiring to listen to stories from women in our profession and learn from scientific presentations given by specialists in their area of expertise.

Our final event was the Gala Dinner, which offered us a wonderful opportunity to celebrate together and recognize all the hard work done by the organizing committee.

Dr Kathryn Kell

FDI President



Upcoming travel

19th Scientific Congress of the Bulgarian Dental Association
6—8 June 2019 • Burgas-Pomorie, Bulgaria

Italian Dental Association (AIO) 10th International Congress
13—15 June 2019 • Chia, Italy

International Association of Dental Research (IADR) General Session
19—22 June 2019 • Vancouver, Canada


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