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News / August 9, 2010

Irish dental hygienist elected to the IFDH

by Guy Hiscott

Dental hygienist Catherine Waldron has been appointed vice-president of the Executive Council of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists (IFDH).

Catherine Waldron

Dental hygienist Catherine Waldron

Catherine was appointed during the 18th International Symposium on Dental Hygiene, held in Glasgow over the summer.

During the meeting elections were held for the Executive Council posts of vice-president, president elect and treasurer.

Earlier in the year, Catherine was surprised and honoured to receive a request from the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark asking if they could nominate her for the position of vice-president.

The Irish Dental Hygienists Association encouraged Catherine to accept the nomination and added their support.

Catherine joins the other Executive Council members of president Maria Perno Goldie (USA), president elect JoAnn Gurenlian (USA) and treasurer Leah Karen Littlejohn (Australia).

The symposium was preceded by the IFDH House of Delegates meeting in Edinburgh.

The 24 member countries of the IFDH were invited to this meeting, which is held every three years.

This year, for the first time, a two-day workshop was held. Four topics were identified for discussion and country members were divided between four working groups and assigned reading materials on specific topics prior to the meeting.

The topics for the work groups were:
1. Promoting evidence-based dental hygiene practice, procedures and products
2. Disease prevention and health promotion for primary healthcare
3. Promoting inter-professional collaboration – communication and building relations across all disciplines within healthcare
4. Reframing dental hygiene education – future goals.

The workshops were very productive and helped the House of Delegates to formulate the goals and strategies for the next three years.

Catherine attended the workshop in the company of Eimear Mithen, editor for the Irish Dental Hygienists Association journal, who proved to be a great ambassador for Ireland.

Catherine says: ‘I am looking forward to the challenge and hope that I can represent the European perspective and the issues that smaller countries and those with more recently developed dental hygiene programmes encounter.’

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