The course prepares dental professionals in alternative methods for volunteering internationally when travel is not possible.

The American Dental Association (ADA) and international humanitarian organization Health Volunteers Overseas (HVO) are hosting a free webinar on October 26 about the continuing need for volunteerism during the pandemic.

The course will illustrate how an HVO program in Nepal adjusted to travel barriers imposed by the pandemic by implementing a robust virtual education program provided by U.S. volunteers.

The course prepares attendees to identify alternate solutions for continuing volunteer programs when travel is not possible, manage a virtual program that includes the recruiting of volunteers, identify the local audience, evaluate the program, and develop a permanent hybrid volunteer model that can be used in the future.

Alaskan public health dentist Brian A. Hollander, DMD, and Dashrath Kafle, MDS, associate professor of orthodontics at Kathmandu University’s Dhulikhel Hospital are the presenters for the webinar.

Hollander is a recipient of the HVO Golden Apple Award, for his leadership and contribution to oral health care in Nepal. He practiced dentistry for 29 years in Kathmandu before leaving in 2009 to work as a public health dentist in Alaska.

In 2013, Hollander became a HVO project director, facilitating opportunities for volunteers to teach at Dhulikhel Hospital’s dental school. Lockdowns in Kathmandu blocked volunteers from traveling to Nepal, so HVO started recruiting volunteers to give Zoom lectures for the dental school.

Kafle has been at Dhulikhel Hospital in Kathmandu for 16 years and contributed to transforming a single-unit dental clinic into a postgraduate institute. Kafle works with Hollander in his role as an on-site coordinator for the project. His research articles have been cited in 70 publications and he is the chief editor of the Orthodontic Journal of Nepal.

The ADA has sponsored the HVO oral health training and education programs since 1990.