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Wellness ambassadors sought to help dentists weather mental, physical, behavioral health struggles

ADA council recruiting from areas not yet represented in program

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The ADA Council on Dental Practice and its Dental Team Wellness Advisory Committee are recruiting new members to serve as wellness ambassadors to address mental and physical wellness and well-being of dental professionals.

The council is seeking wellness ambassadors from states that so far have not be represented.

According to Jeffrey Ottley, D.M.D., chair, Council on Dental Practice, “Ensuring additional representation of new wellness ambassadors from as many states as possible supports the council’s goal to have a wellness champion at state and local levels who is passionate about advancing the health and well-being of dental professionals. Dentistry is a demanding, yet rewarding, calling and having colleagues who commit to serving as wellness ambassadors allows these leaders to share existing resources and connect colleagues with wellness resources as needed.”

The program seeks ambassadors from the 12th District —Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana — as well as from the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the states of Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, South Carolina and Virginia.

Applicants must be ADA members, be willing to serve as an ambassador for an onboarding year — Sept. 2024-Sept. 2025 — and be willing to work with their state and local dental society on health and wellness issues. 

The council is asking for a CV and a letter of interest to dentalpractice@ada.org by Feb. 29. Any questions about the program may also be directed to dentalpractice@ada.org.

The council created the ADA wellness ambassador program in 2022 to assist the ADA in:

• Expanding the awareness of physical and mental health wellness and well-being challenges faced in the dental profession.

• Prioritizing the need to provide resources at state and local levels to those who may wish to seek

help.

• Connecting those who need support to available resources.

The first group of ambassadors completed over 40 projects during their onboarding year of 2022-23 and highlighted their accomplishments at the ADA Health and Well-Being Summit in September 2023. For an executive summary of the summit, visit ADA Health and Well-Being Summit Executive Summit.

Kami Dornfeld, D.D.S., Dental Team Wellness Advisory Committee chair, said, “The ADA’s wellness ambassadors have already made significant contributions to removing the stigma around conversations about mental health, and to improving dental professionals’ health and well-being. The third group of wellness ambassadors will continue to build on the momentum from the first two groups.”

Information about the first and second group of wellness ambassadors — who started in September 2023 — may be found at ADA Wellness Ambassador Program.

An introductory video about the program can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSQ5daYK0wo.

Resources are available at ADA.org/Wellness.


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