ADAVB President's Comments
September 2019 Hide Comments
Leading the way in health and development
Looking out for each other and our patients
Often in our practices we come across patients with health issues that directly impact on their oral health. Mental health conditions affect a person’s thoughts, behaviour and/or feelings, and can lead to some significant dental issues due to neglect, anxiety, trauma and medication.  
Eating disorders are a group of mental illnesses characterised by body shape/weight, exercise or eating becoming an unhealthy preoccupation of someone’s life. It can cause significant destruction to tooth structure. Eating disorders are on the rise in Australia and can often be detected in the dental chair. We are holding a CPD event in October in conjunction with Eating Disorders Victoria, and I encourage you to attend this informative and highly relevant presentation. See the listing in our calendar on page 19 for more information.
Mental health in general is something that we as a profession need to be mindful of for ourselves and our colleagues. Our job as dentists can be highly stressful, often quite isolating, and while we are helping people, those same people are generally not all that happy to see us or with the resulting treatment. This, coupled with the added pressures of life, can make it difficult to maintain good mental health. 
The ADAVB offers members free personal counselling through LifeWorks, to help with handling work and study pressures, anxiety and depression, relationship and family issues, and grief and loss. It can make a mountain of difference just talking to someone. See page 21 for more information about LifeWorks.
R U Okay Day is coming up on 12 September, Mental Health Week from 5 to 11 October and World Mental Health Day on 10 October. Consider getting your practice involved in educating and engaging your patients in discussions about mental health. Resources can be found below: \
  • LifeWorks Member Assistance Program: 1300 361 008
  • 10/
Developing our members’ leadership and learning
I was delighted to attend and welcome the successful candidates at the 2019 launch of the Health Sector Leadership Program. Four outstanding applicants were chosen for the program, including Drs Rosie Pritchett, Darcy Del Rio, Rachelle Weiti and Christina Jovanovic. The program, sponsored by Guild and delivered by Leadership Victoria, has helped shape many ADAVB emerging leaders who have since served on ADAVB committees and Council. Six program alumni have served on ADAVB Council, including two as ADAVB President (myself included), and one alumnus as a member of Federal Executive.  
This program is particularly special as it involves participants from eight health professions and helps the nominated candidates not only develop their leadership skills, but also provides insights into other clinical disciplines within our health system. 
The ADAVB recently announced the successful recipients of the ADAVB BOQ Specialist bursaries. Congratulations to Dr Anand Makwana, the recipient of the $10,000 practice bursary, which recognises and supports dental practices that are committed to excellence in quality learning, and to Dr Amy Thompson, the recipient of the recent graduate bursary, which supports the career growth of a graduate dentist with a $5000 grant for CPD. Read more about our successful applicants on page 11.
I look forward to hearing more about these members’ leadership and learning journeys.
Dental Health Week
It was great to see so many dental practices, community groups and students promoting the oral health message during Dental Health Week 2019 and holding Tea for Teeth events in support of the eviDent Foundation. During Dental Health Week, dental and oral health is prominently featured on both social and general media, and this year the extensive reach of our advocacy messages continued. We will continue to work hard to maintain this momentum to ensure oral health is viewed as an important part of overall health and I thank you all for getting involved. 
Dr Gitika Sanghvi

Advocacy and unity
Dental Health Week
August was a huge month for Tasmania. Dental Health Week saw collaborative events across the state and all disciplines of the profession come together (despite the challenging weather!) to promote key oral health messages to the community. Radio interviews were conducted from north to south of the state in English and Malayalam, a themed oral health series of newspaper articles went out, and many community events were held over the week by our members. Our focus this year was to encourage early intervention and encourage young families to prevent problems by regularly visiting a dentist and to make healthier choices for better oral health. Thank you to all who volunteered their time; we had a ball! Our efforts in advocacy don’t stop at Dental Health Week; we continue our campaign for promoting preventive dentistry and fluoridated tap water as well as representing members from across the state in national issues. 
Welcome to our new councillor
We welcome our new councillor Dr Ava Hafezi who brings with her a fresh perspective for recent graduates. Dr Hafezi is Tasmanian born, James Cook University (JCU) trained, and now back in Hobart as a private practitioner where she has an interest in restorative dentistry, periodontics and keeping up to date with the latest dental technologies. Prior to practising in Tasmania, Dr Hafezi also experienced treating patients in the under-serviced areas of regional and remote Queensland and the Northern Territory. In her spare time, Dr Hafezi likes exploring the beautiful Tasmanian scenery and tasting its fine foods and cuisines.
Continued learning
This past month has been a steep learning curve for me. After 17 years as a general dentist, I thought I pretty much knew my stuff. As part of a new role in Hobart’s Special Care Dental Clinic, I had the pleasure of meeting the multidisciplinary team at the Head and Neck Cancer clinic in the Royal Hobart Hospital. It amazed me how specialists, students and allied health professionals from all areas came together to discuss management of cases, and it got me thinking: why aren’t we doing more of this as dental professionals? Being time poor is something we are all probably burdened with but the ability to come together as a team to discuss cases for 15 minutes can mean so much, not only for successful patient outcomes but to bring collegiality and cohesion as a team. The events for Dental Health Week were evidence of this. Dentists, managers, therapists, hygienists, students, assistants, so many more people were involved than in our normal working week. Wouldn’t it be great if we could come together year-round? 
The ADATas Council meetings are often held in the geographical heart of Tasmania in Campbell Town and we car pool for the journey. I look forward to these informal meetings with my colleagues, as for the next two-and-a-half hours we are in close proximity with no distractions other than the traffic. I’ve learned so much on these journeys, from clinical case management to the lowdown on the new maxillofacial registrar. At a time when we are trying to fill all hours of the day to achieve balance, I take delight in the conversations I share on the way to Campbell Town and feel no sadness when we drive the mobile reception void of the Midland Highway. 
Dr Angie Nilsson

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