By Donna Westfall
Don’t for a moment think that Crescent City-Del Norte County is the only place trying to control the discussion by removing those in opposition. Just like Grand Jury Foreman, Dr. Tod Roy (who sounds like the mouthpiece of former Executive Director, Kevin Hendrick), and the 2014-2015 Grand Jury tried to blackball Mary Wilson and Roger Gitlin, here the American Network of Oral Health Coalitions is trying to control the discussion on fluoridation.
If there’s the tiniest activist bone in your body, why don’t you let firstname.lastname@example.org know what you think of their stance. Red highlighting and bolding was done by our office:
From: Karlene Ketola (Executive Director Oral Health Kansas)To: dental-public-health-listserve list <email@example.com>
Cc: Tanya Dorf Brunner (Oral Health Kansas)Sent: Wed, Sep 2, 2015 5:46 pm
Subject: [Pitt Listserv] APHA sign-on letter
Dear Colleagues, As you may know, the American Public Health Association (APHA) has engaged Ed Begley, Jr. as one of the opening speakers at their fall conference. He is slated to be on a panel with the Surgeon General. He is a television personality who is known for his environmentalism and for being an anti-fluoridationist. He was asked tospeak about his environmental work, but his high profile role as a fluoridation critic make his position on the panel problematic. https://www.apha.org/events-
and-meetings/annual/schedule- and-online-program/opening- general-session The American Network of Oral Health Coalitions has has prepared the attached sign-on letter urging APHA to take Mr. Begley off their conference agenda. If your organization is interested in signing onto this letter, please reply to me at firstname.lastname@example.org<mai lto:email@example.com > by close of business this Friday, September 4. This is a quick turn-around because swift action is required in order to try to influence the decision to take him off the agenda. If there are other organizations you believe should have the chance to sign onto the letter, please feelfree to forward this message. By way of background information, it also is important to know that theOral Health Section of the APHA sent a letter to the Executive Directorwith a similar tone asking him to remove Mr. Begley from the conferenceagenda. Thank you for your consideration. Tanya Dorf Brunner Executive Director Oral Health Kansas, Inc. 800 SW Jackson, Suite 1120 Topeka, KS 66612 Here's their suggested letter: September 8, 2015 Georges C. Benjamin, MD Executive Director American Public Health Association 800 I Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 Dear Dr. Benjamin: As organizations dedicated to improving the health and oral health of all Americans, we are writing in regard to Ed Begley, Jr. being featuredas a speaker at the American Public Health Association 2015 Annual Meeting. Mr. Begley is one of the country’s most out-spoken critics of community waterfluoridation, and we believe he has no place on the national public health stage. The American Public Health Association’s (APHA) role is to strengthen “the impact of public health professionals and provide(s) a science- based voice in policy debates too often driven by emotion, ideology or financial interests.” There is no better example of a need to provide a science-based voice in a policy debate than in the case ofcommunity water fluoridation. The nation’s largest anti-fluoridation group, Fluoride Action Network (FAN), has turned to Mr. Begley as its celebrity spokesperson for a number of years. In 2013, he was one of the national figures publicly featured in FAN’s successful campaign to keep Portland, Oregon, fluoride-free. Mr. Begley is not a scientist, and he actively works against community water fluoridation, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention call one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the 20th century. He is not someone who should share the stage with our nation’s Surgeon General, who endorsed fluoridation saying, “Water fluoridation’s biggest advantage is that it is the best method for delivering fluoride to all members of the community regardless of age, education, income level, or access to routine dental care.” This year marks the 70th anniversary of community water fluoridation inthe United States. This is a year we should all celebrate, and the APHAAnnual Meeting is an ideal place to reflect on this public health triumph. Putting Mr. Begley on the agenda not only contradicts the message about the public health value of water fluoridation, it also diminishes APHA’s credibility as the nation’s pre-eminent public health voice. We urge APHA to take Ed Begley, Jr. off of the Annual Meeting agenda. Anything less than this will blemish the public health community’s workon behalf of community water fluoridation and will embolden anti- fluoridationists in their efforts to undermine public water fluoridation and public health. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. Sincerely,