The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), which advocates for The Safest Dental Visit, announced its leadership awards’ recipients during its annual symposium held in Baltimore in May. Henry Schein Dental, Melville, NY, and Patterson Dental, El Segundo, Calif, were co-recipients of the 14th Annual Dr Milton Schaefer Award for their superior service and ongoing contributions to OSAP. Therese Long, executive director of OSAP, was recognized with the 18th Annual Dr James J. Crawford Award, which is given for lifetime achievement in the field of dental infection control.

The Dr Milton Schaefer Award, presented to Henry Schein Dental and Patterson Dental, recognizes nominees whose efforts have resulted in tangible benefits to the continuing advancement of OSAP’s mission to be the world’s leading advocate for the safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare.

Henry Schein Dental and Patterson Dental have conducted social responsibility campaigns that generated funding for OSAP dental safety initiatives and provided additional value to OSAP corporate members. Both companies have donated advertising and in-kind services, supported key executives serving on OSAP boards, and have elevated their level of commitment to OSAP and dental safety by becoming organizational Super Sponsors.

The Dr James J. Crawford Award, presented to OSAP Executive Director Long, is named in honor of one of the founding fathers of dental infection control. Awardees have made major contributions in science, education, or public policy related to OSAP’s core competencies of infection control and patient and provider safety.

The boards of directors of OSAP and the OSAP Foundation chose to recognize Long for her long service as executive director. She is the organization’s first full-time director.

“For 20 years, as ‘the heart and soul of OSAP,’ Therese Long has been a tireless and passionate advocate for patient and provider safety in oral health care,” said Dr John O’Keefe, chairman of the OSAP Board of Directors. “The members of the OSAP Board were unanimous in their delight at being able to recognize Therese’s work by conferring the 2015 James J. Crawford Award on her.”

Over the past two decades, Long has become the international face for the organization. Under her guidance, the organization obtained IRS recognition, launched the OSAP Foundation, formed partnerships that expanded the organization’s reach, and created a number of programs and campaigns.

In addition, OSAP introduced a new award this year: Emerging Infection Control Leader. The goal of the award is to help develop and promote the next generation of leaders in the field of dental infection prevention and safety by identifying outstanding new infection control advocates. The 1st Emerging Infection Control Leader Award was given to Jessica Wilson, a national speaker, trainer, and educator who focuses on infection prevention and compliance. Wilson is employed by Hu-Friedy as an Instrument Management and Infection Prevention Specialist and has worked with hundreds of dental practices to help them understand compliance regulations and best practices.

The OSAP Symposium features nationally and internationally known authorities discussing current and emerging issues relating to infection prevention and safety in oral healthcare settings. Key content from the symposium will be summarized in the OSAP Symposium Proceedings, which will be available from the OSAP website soon. The Proceedings document provides summaries of the presentations and essential resources for further study. It is useful both for attendees who want to reinforce and revisit the content presented and for people who were unable to attend this year’s symposium.

The annual OSAP Symposium provides education on infection control and networking opportunities for dental industry attendees. Experts from leading research and educational facilities, government agencies, industry, and clinical practice lead workshops, give talks, and provide hands-on exercises for attendees.

Next year’s symposium will be held June 2 to 4, 2016, in San Diego, Calif.