In 2011, Dean Amid Ismail of Temple University Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry created the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders with 40 other dental schools in support of the “Bridge to Peace” initiative. This alliance is committed to advancing oral and dental care to disabled and special needs patients in the Middle East.
Bridge to Peace facilitates opportunities for dental professionals to reach beyond political and religious divides, using oral health as a means to improve the quality of life for people of all nationalities. Leading partners in the Bridge to Peace initiative are Professor Aaron Palmon, Dean, School of Dentistry, Hadassah Medical Center, Hebrew University and Professor Mousa Bajali, Dean, School of Dentistry, Al-Quds University.
The initiative included delegation exchanges to Temple University in Philadelphia, and to Shalva in Jerusalem, providing care to those in need and exchanging best practices. Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, is dedicated to providing transformative care for individuals with disabilities, empowering their families and promoting social inclusion. Shalva offers an all-encompassing range of services for thousands of people with disabilities from infancy to adulthood and their families. Shalva has a state-of-the-art dental facility donated by one of our founding members, Henry Schein Inc. Due to the stipulations of their original charter, Shalva’s dental facility is unable to provide actual treatment; they can only offer exams and oral hygiene instruction. Consequently, members of the Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders offers Shalva’s patients free-of-charge dental care.