9 Jan 2013
Our first Conference was in 2003 in The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon on Friday, September 26th, 2003 where we launched the Oral Health Promotion Research Group.
In 2004 the theme of the first Conference" Oral Health within Public Health" included such speakers as Professor Ivan Perry and Ruth Freeman and Dr's Jane Sixsmith, Richard Watt and Ronnie Levine.
The 2005 Conference "Evaluation and Beyond" explored the area of Qualitative and Quantitative research. A database (hard copy) of oral health projects across the island was developed and circulated to our membership with contact details of 'What's going on in Oral Health Promotion in Ireland?
The 2006 Conference 'Ideas into Practice' presented initiatives on a "Traveller Project", "Community Development approach to Health Promotion", "Glasgow Early Years" and "Older Persons Initiative". Speakers included Yvonne Blair, Aidan Browne, Martin Quinn, Beth Dawson and Margaret O Malley.
The 2007 Conference "Communication and how to do it better" covered subjects on
"One to One Communication" (Mary Harris)
"Your reputation- what's it worth?" (Carlton Baxter)
"Plain English" (Sheila O Kelly).
The Dental Health Foundation supported the idea of running Master classes for the membership with the theme 'Community Development and Oral Health'
In May 2008 a joint Conference with the UK group was held in Croke Park Stadium, Dublin titled "Partnership Working" and it focused on partnerships with Health and Social Care Professionals. Sue Gregory, Assistant Chief Dental Officer UK, spoke about 'Delivering Better Oral Health' an evidence-based booklet for Prevention. Other speakers included Kevin Haywood 'Teaming Up with Aston Villa' and Denise McCormilla and Mairin McInerney presented 'Smart Start' an early intervention programme for preschools.
In 2008 an approach was made to the Irish Link to provide a parallel programme at the Annual Conference of the Public Dental Surgeons group of the Irish Dental Association.
This partnership with the Public Dental Surgeons group was repeated in 2009 with a focus on 'Communication and Stress'.
In 2010, work commenced on developing a website which would link into the Dental Health Foundation Ireland. This website will be a format for members to exchange ideas, information, resources, programmes and news in relation to current oral health promotion.
In view of the integration of the OHPRG (UK) and BASCD in autumn 2010, and the ongoing discussions on reorganization of health and oral care services across Ireland, it is timely for the 'Irish link' to review how best it can move forward to support Oral Health Promotion developments and research in Ireland.
With regard to recessionary times and the impact on health care professionals the OHPRG Ireland decided to hold its 8th Annual Conference in the 'Ashling Hotel' Dublin with its theme 'Promoting Oral Health' and the launch of the OHPRG Ireland web-link. The Conference fee included complimentary membership for one year. Speakers included Dr Carmel Parnell who spoke about 'Evidence based practice - what does it mean for Oral Health Promoters.' Other speakers included Dr Joe Mullen 'Water Fluoridation - An Update'. Dr Mary O Farrell presented on 'How to use 'Healthy Lifesmiles - an Oral Health Programme for Older People. Bursary winner for 2010 Dr Caoimhin MacGiolla Phadraig presented his research and the Dental Health Foundation Ireland presented the 2011 Bursary award, a special merit award was also presented.
In 2012 - 9th Annual Conference was also held in the Ashling Hotel, Dublin with a theme "Integration". This proved to be a very interesting day which appealed to a wide variety of professionals.