The Committee on International Programs and Development, a standing committee of the American Dental Association’s Board of Trustees believes that the personal effort and dedication of Association members who serve as volunteers in developing countries in order to improve the health of the people merit professional and public appreciation and recognition.
Their service, in the Committee’s view, is not only a contribution to the advancement of public health but to the creation of friendship and good will among professionals, and thus, to the peace sought by all. Such health professionals constitute a might force for the realization of the foregoing goals, since good health is intrinsic to the betterment of humankind. The Committee, has therefore, approved the awarding of a certificate of recognition, the presentation of which is to be governed by the following criteria:
1. The name of the award shall be “Certificate for International Volunteer Service”.
2. The recipient must:
be an active, life, student or retired member of the American Dental Association;
have served in an international location with a program sponsored by a dental school or recognized nonprofit organization for a minimum of 14 days, either in one period or in several visits, in any 24-month period;have provided clinical dental service and/or taught local dental personnel or assisted in training initiatives to improve the local oral healthcare infrastructure;
supply evidence of the dates of the service with a comprehensive, detailed breakdown of activities and the value of the contribution by means of a letter or testimonial from the director of the program or other appropriate official (for student members working in a dental school program this requirement shall be the responsibility of the dean or director of the outreach program);
be nominated by a component or constituent society, federal dental service or dental school;
be verified in writing to be a member in good standing by the component society, if such exists, or by the constituent society or commanding officer or dean of the dental school as appropriate.
3. Each year by April 1, component and constituent dental societies are invited to nominate their members who have served as international volunteers.
4. The nominations must be made on a special form available from the ADA Division of Global Affairs and must be accompanied by evidence of service as outlined in paragraph 2.
5. Nominations will be reviewed by the Committee on International Programs and Development.
6. Candidates with qualified service will be approved at the Summer meeting of the Committee on International Programs and Development.
7. The recipients will be announced within 60 days of the Committee meeting and the certificates will be distributed to recipients, or to the nominating component or constituent societies upon request.
8. A certificate may be awarded to the same individual more than once.
Program approved by the House of Delegates in 1974 (Trans. 1974:699); criteria amended in 1976 (Trans. 1976:925); and in 1986 (Trans. 1986:513); and Resolution 28-H, 2002, placed the program under the auspices of the Committee on International Programs and Development which edited the program to give it a more contemporary image in April 2010.
Guidelines for the Certificate for International Volunteer Service
The aim of the volunteer should be to improve the availability of health care on a continuing basis through activities that will have a lasting effect. It is suggested, therefore, that the volunteer:
Make an effort to either do the following tasks themselves and/or train local personnel to do them: teach preventive procedures, perform emergency services and repair equipment;
encourage other dentists to go on follow-up visits;
be cautious about accepting used equipment to take or ship overseas because there is a chance it might not be useful in the particular region you are serving, also necessary parts and maintenance service may not be available;
work in an established program if possible, i.e., one that has been accepted in the country by the appropriate government officials and by the health professions, rather than “go on your own”. If none exists, attempt to establish a program with appropriate sponsorship, such as dental or civic organizations, for the sake of continuity;
if entering a country for the first time, go through local official and professional channels to make certain that the activity you plan to provide will be well received;
be aware of your role as an ambassador of good will for the United States of America.
Original from 1975 Annual Report of the Council on International Relations of the American Dental Association to the AD