Make it Happen

OSAP Safest Dental Visit™

The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) – a growing community and membership association of clinicians, educators, policy makers, consultants and industry representatives who advocate for the Safest Dental Visit™ – held its annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia, June 22-25, 2017.  With a focus on the Safest Dental Visit™ and strategies central to the conference theme, “Make it Happen,” the organization conducted a one-of-its-kind event focused exclusively on infection control and patient safety in dentistry.

Over 300 participants – including over 100 first-time attendees – convened at the Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead Atlanta to participate in the OSAP 2017 Annual Infection Control Conference, marking a record attendance. Attendees traveled from Brazil, Canada and the United States to attend plenary sessions and workshops, learn best practices, share ideas with colleagues and more. In addition to 30+ companies and dental publications that were represented, attendees were comprised of:

  • Practitioners from mid-size and large group practices.
  • Representatives from every U.S. federal service, federal and state agencies, state dental boards, state and national dental associations, and nonprofit institutions and foundations.
  • Educators from almost 50 schools.
  • Managers from hospitals and health centers.

Meeting highlights
Plenary sessions and workshops by over 30 nationally recognized infection control experts covered emerging trends and late breaking information on infection control requirements specific for today’s healthcare landscape. The robust educational program also featured several skill-building sessions for dental infection preventionists. The keynote address with Dr. Ruth Carrico reimagined the future of infection control, and a late breaker session addressed pathogens, policies and politics, with an update on the Amalgam Separator Final Rule reinstated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Regulatory and guidance agencies including the Food and Drug Administration, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided useful updates on current issues. The conference also offered several timely sessions on policies and procedures regarding dental waterlines, an infection control certification initiative, the new definition of oral health, a global panel on infection control from international experts from Brazil and much more.

Standing strong in front of a packed house, Jenn Morrone from Jenn’s Vision shared her story and mission for patient advocacy during the session, “I am the Patient, Don’t Forget about Me.” Following a preventable accident at a dental visit in 2013, which caused the loss of her right eye, Morrone has worked to promote and deliver the message of best practices in dental safety and the use of protective eye wear.
Throughout the conference, event-goers were encouraged to share best practices and ideas with colleagues. The Pecha Kucha session allowed attendees to hear five-minute presentations from subject matter experts and then break into deep-dive roundtables for further discussions. Topics included safe injection practices, bar code instrument tracking to processing, infection control in nontraditional healthcare settings, top infection control resources and the CDC checklist implementation strategies.

The OSAP Dental Infection Control Leadership Awards were presented on June 23 and made possible through a grant from Henry Schein Dental. The new Exhibitor Award was voted on during the conference and was awarded to the exhibitor with the best educational presentation. Awards included:

  • 20th Annual Dr. James J. Crawford Award: Margaret Cottrell. This award recognizes lifetime achievement in the field. Cottrell was one of the Founders of OSAP and has been affectionately referred to as the mother of the organization. She has supported the organization by serving on both the Association and Foundation boards of directors. She has contributed her business expertise through strong financial stewardship as the organization’s treasurer and through active participation on key strategic committees.
  • 16th Annual Dr. Milton Schaefer Award: Douglas Risk DDS, ABGD. This award celebrates superior service to the organization, recognizing either continuous contributions over a period of time or singular accomplishments. Dr. Risk has been an integral part of the OSAP educational programming for several years, involved with both Annual Conference and Dental Infection Control Boot Camp™ planning sessions. He has served as a speaker and key liaison between Air Force, other branches of the federal services and OSAP, promoting infection control education, policies, practices and dental healthcare personnel/patient safety initiatives.
  • 10th James Cottone Award for Excellence in Investigative Research: Peter Arsenault DMD, MS and Amad Tayebi ScD, Esq. Arsenualt and Dr. Tayebi have advanced evidence-based research in eye safety in dentistry and bottom-gap exposure protection recommendations. Their publications and presentations have been recognized by the OSAP, ADA, NIOSH and OSHA as an improvement to the current eye safety standards in the healthcare industry.
  • 3rd Annual Emerging Infection Control Leader Award: Kandis Garland RDH, MS. The Emerging Leaders Award identifies outstanding new infection control advocates and develops next-generation stars in the field of dental infection prevention and safety. Garland has conducted research focused primarily on infection control and has presented her research at regional, national and international meetings. She serves as a manuscript reviewer and as an infection control Ask the Expert
  • 15th Annual Bette & Paul Schwartz Award: Peggy Spitzer RDH, MAEd. Named in honor of a couple who personify the spirit of volunteerism for the organization, the award recognizes an outstanding volunteer from the previous year’s conference. Ms. Spitzer was unanimously voted to receive this award for her dedication, can-do attitude and tremendous support throughout the 2016 conference.
  • Chairman’s Citation Awards. OSAP’s Immediate Past Chairman, Mike Smurr, presented special citations to the following individuals who enriched the organization by contributing a unique blend of talents, skills, hard work and unwavering commitment to the advancement of dental safety.
    • Suzanne Bauman.
    • Cynthia Durley, MEd, MBA.
    • Hudson Garrett, PhD, MSN, MPH.
    • Pamela Head.
    • Therese Long MBA, CAE.
    • Regina Robuck, CAE.
    • Susan Runner DDS, MA.
    • Jean Wolff, RDH, MSEd.

A look ahead
OSAP’s conference was marked by the transition of OSAP leadership. Therese Long MBA CAE, former executive director, retired into the position of emeritus executive director and Christina Thomas now serves as executive director.

In addition, association and foundation boards of directors were announced, as well as future initiatives, including:

  • Dental Infection Control Awareness Month in September.
  • OSAP Dental Infection Control Boot Camp™ January 8-10, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • The OSAP 2018 Annual Infection Control Conference, scheduled for May 31-June 3, in Dallas, Texas.

A premier infection control and patient safety education and networking event in dentistry, the OSAP Annual Conference delivers the latest updates on evolving guidance and emerging infection prevention and safety issues. One of the organization’s key strategic goals is to “identify, foster and build a strong community of recognized infection prevention and safety experts/facilities within oral healthcare.” OSAP believes EVERYONE has a role to play in ensuring safe, infection-free delivery of oral healthcare and encourages the dental community to view more information about membership and the organization at

Exhibitor award

Crosstex International, Inc., a Cantel Medical company, received the Exhibitor Award. Crosstex manufactures a wide array of unique and innovative infection prevention and compliance products for the global healthcare industry. The award was voted on by conference attendees and based on several criteria:

  • Demonstration of a clear purpose for infection control.
  • Application of the product or service in a work setting.
  • Providing a memorable presentation from company personnel.

Anchor support

Over 30 infection control companies and sponsors participated in the annual conference, providing an opportunity for the OSAP community to network, engage and discuss the latest developments in products, services and technology related to infection control and global health. OSAP super sponsors, including Air Techniques, Coltene, Crosstex, Dentsply Sirona, Henry Schein, Hu-Friedy, KaVo Kerr, Midmark, Patterson and SciCan, provided anchor support.

Notable quotes

  • “The OSAP Annual Infection Control Conference serves as an education and networking hub of energy, collaboration and idea sharing,” says Mike Smurr, OSAP immediate past chairman of the board. “From the interactive workshops, agency updates, late-breaking information and spontaneous meetings and moments that happen in between sessions, the conference continues to combine world class education and inspire those who attend.”
  • “We could not deliver this education program without the support of our sponsors, exhibitors, members, volunteers and committee members,” says Christina Thomas, OSAP’s executive director. “We plan to take the momentum, excitement and success from this year’s conference and carry it through to Dental Infection Control Awareness Month in September, the upcoming OSAP Dental Infection Control Boot Camp™ and next year’s Annual Conference held on May 31-June 3 in Dallas, Texas.”

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