Peace is achieved when different parties can rise above their differences and meet on a higher common ground. For the members of Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders, creating healthy smiles for all populaces is that higher ground. The Alliance is committed to promoting peace and well-being through oral health by building bridges among dental and health professionals around the world, especially in areas of conflict.

Last week, Kalman Samuels, Founder and Chairman of Shalva, met with the alliance and presented Shalva’s upcoming OHEV Oral Wellness Center. The conference was attended by professionals in the field of dentistry from India and Pakistan, Israel (including Palestinians) and Turkey together with significant leaders in the field from the USA, including the Deans of Harvard and Temple University. The one-of-kind Oral Hygiene Wellness Center will fill a crucial gap in Israel’s health and social services structure.

Individuals with disabilities are at a greatly increased risk for oral health complications, and the problem is compounded by the fact that many facilities refuse to care for clients with disabilities. The OHEV Center will provide oversight, case management, tailor-made dental tools as well education for Shalva participants, their families and the broader community. Collegiate delegations will visit Shalva to gain all-important hands-on experience with this population. This groundbreaking program is led in partnership with Prof. Amid Ismail of Temple University. Prof. Ismail is also a prominent member of the alliance.

“There are certain ideals that cross all borders. Quality of life is one them. Aside from the fact that a failure to take control of oral hygiene can develop into more severe complications, parents of children with disabilities deserve the peace of mind that there is a forum – an effective and caring forum – to best address the health needs of their children.”

“A program like this, especially in the Middle-East region is so important. I can’t stress that enough. There are so many incredible social, economic, inclusive and political issues that blend so seamlessly into this program. It’s both a means to providing more effective care to these children, and serves as a wonderful example of cross-cultural cooperation to the world.”

An international summit is scheduled to be held in the Shalva National Center in 2018.