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USA Section of the Academy of Dentistry International

History of ADI

The Academy of Dentistry International is the concept of Albert Wasserman, DDS, of San Mateo, California, U.S.A. This transnational organization is devoted to the advancement of dentistry throughout the world and to the elevation of dental standards by continuing education. Along with the sponsorship of dental education, research and patient care projects, this Academy directly aids in the improvement of the dental and oral health and well-being of people worldwide.

This international, honorific Academy for dentists, dedicated to sharing knowledge and worldwide fellowship, officially began on October 17, 1974. It is incorporated as a nonprofit organization in the State of California. The first fellowships were conferred upon the organizing officers in 1975. The first international meeting and convocation was held on May 14, 1976, at the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice, France. This occasion also marked the founding of the Africa, Europe and Middle East Section of the Academy.

The Philippine Section was chartered in Manila on February 10, 1977, the Asia Pacific Section on March 26, 1981 in Singapore . Japan became a Section on June 23 and Canada on September 28, 1985. The South America Section and Central America Section were chartered on October 28, 1987, and the Australasia Section on May 14, 1988. In 1998 the Africa - Middle East Section was created from the Africa, Europe and Middle East Section. In 2007 the European Section was restructured, forming the Northern European Section, the Southern European Section and the Eastern European Section. In 2016 the Africa & Middle East Section was separated into two Sections. In 2017 the Mexico Section was added.  To date, the Academy has more than 3 ,400 fellows that reside in more than 86 countries.

When in the United States, the Academy's Annual meeting and Convocation are held in conjunction with the Annual Session of the American Dental Association. As an affiliate member of the Fédération Dentaire Internationale, the Academy ’s Annual Meeting and Convocation are sometimes held at the site of the FDI Annual World Dental Congress. Any Section may conduct convocation ceremonies at their pleasure.

A forum for the "exchange of knowledge" was established in early 1975 with the first "newsletter" of the Academy titled theINTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATOR. In 2015, the newsletter began to focus more on education and is now the Journal of Global Oral Health, JGOH. As this exchange developed, programs of seminars, tours, local and national/chapter meetings and international tape exchanges were begun. Volunteer humanitarian and patient care service projects were initiated as a natural consequence of this crossing of international boundaries and cultural exchange.

Academy fellows and other outstanding clinicians constitute the Academy's international continuing education faculty. Family members are also encouraged to accompany these continuing education tour groups. Clinicians and lecturers give freely of their time and at their own personal expense. Local, national, section and central office funds may also be available to alleviate in part some of these expenses.

Most recently, the Academy sponsored and supported continuing education programs in Uruguay, S.R. Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Nepal and Lithuania. The European Sections have been requested to develop scientific meetings in Europe. Other projects and programs were explored for Cambodia, Myanmar , Laos and the Fiji Islands under the co-sponsorship of the Australasia and Asia Pacific Sections.

In the early 90's the Asia Pacific Section, in coordination with the USA Section, funded the travel expenses of a Fellow who lectured at continuing education programs in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

The Academy cosponsored the scientific program for the first International Dental Congress and Expodent in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on January 7-9, 1994. This major Southeast Asian scientific program and trade exhibition was the first to take place in this country. More than 2,000 dentists from Vietnam and neighboring countries attended with no registration fee required.

The Africa, Europe and Middle East Section co-sponsored with the Lithuanian Dental Association, the first ever International Dental Congress and Expodent in Vilnius, Lithuania on June 5-8, 1997 with more than 1,000 dentists attending. Since that initial effort, the Lithuanian Dental Association has gone on to hold successful annual scientific sessions building on the experience of 1997.

In 1980 the Academy established an awards protocol to recognize conspicuous and meritorious service to the dental profession. The current awards are: The International Dentist of the Year, the Humanitarian Award, the Award of Distinction and the Hillenbrand Award. As appropriate, Honorary Fellowships are conferred as well as other sectional awards.

In 1985, the Academy of Dentistry International Foundation was incorporated. This nonprofit (USA IRS tax deductible) foundation was formed to fund humanitarian and other services and initiatives in liaison with the Academy. Presently, the Academy's Foundation takes an active part in several projects caring for children with maxillofacial disfigurements among the rural poor of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Region. The Foundation started a video tape exchange in 1988 for use in the dental schools of developing and other countries. The Foundation along with the Academy has provided dental text books and journals to dental schools and their libraries in developing countries.

In 2014-2015, the ADI became the first Honorary Dental organization to be affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information as an NGO (Non Governmental Organization.) The Academy in cooperation with Henry Schein, Ivoclar-Vivadent and SPDA, Brazil provided a workshop at the 2016 UN DPI/NGO Conference in Gyeogiu, Korea. In July 2018, the ADI was granted Special Consultative Status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC.) This consultative status is unique for an oral health-related membership organization and as such, enables a loud and direct voice for global oral health to be heard at the highest levels of the United Nations’ member states, the UN Secretariat and Agencies.

Fellowship in the Academy of Dentistry International is bestowed on dentists whose professional, civic, and related accomplishments are truly outstanding. The completed biographical profiles are endorsed by a Fellow of the Academy and approved by the respective area Regent and the Academy's Membership and Credentials Committee. Upon final approval and payment of the specified fellowship fee, the nominee becomes a Fellow-Elect with a reservation to attend a future induction ceremony reception and luncheon and/or dinner.

The Academy endeavors to create opportunities in continuing exchanges of knowledge, education and expertise for improving the global level of oral health.

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