Head Of Department at Hadassah University Medical Center, and Associate Dean.
My scientific goals are to influence the clinical and nonclinical dimensions of health promotion, community-based prevention, and outreach activities in oral health. All of these can reduce oral illness among underprivileged populations and will improve accessibility to oral- and general health care. My research is focused in trends and epidemiological data relating to oral cancer, the study of socio-dental indicators, and assessment of the influence of oral disease on individual and societal quality of life. I studied the possible connection between religiosity or spirituality and health, and I have studied oral health habits among elderly and children. I have headed the Dental Education Program in the Department of Community Dentistry. In these curricula, I place a great emphasis on socio-demographic aspects of dental care. I believe that the entire dental team should focus not only on the oral area, but should also be aware of the patient’s social background to tailor the treatment plan to encompass broader determinants of health and wellbeing. Recently, we have begun collaboration to design a new instrument allowing both “diagnosis” and measurement of “positive oral health and well-being,”which will be tested in Israel, the USA, and Germany. This instrument is designed based on the philosophy of the emerging field of positive health research. Just as the term “happiness” encompasses positive emotion, engagement, and purpose, it is believed that the comprehensive notion of “positive health” can include biological, subjective, and functional aspects. I believe that a combination of data from future longitudinal studies, based on this premise, will be used to predict health targets of interest: increased longevity, decreased health costs, and better prognosis when illness strikes. There are only a few attempts to operationalize this positive view; most existing instruments measure only illnesses or health problems.