New Online Resource Bridges Gap on Oral Health - University of Manitoba answers the needs of Canadian health professionals

    TORONTO, June 23 /CNW/ - The University of Manitoba is preparing to
launch a new online resource to bridge a major gap in oral health information
among Canadian health care professionals. AdvancingIn Oral Health will go live
as of September, 2009 to improve quality of care and patient health in Canada.
    A recent survey indicates that 85% of health professionals practicing in
Canada today do not have enough information on oral health and link between
oral and overall patient health. The online survey of over 400 Canadian
physicians, pharmacists and allied health professionals revealed several
stunning gaps in their oral health knowledge relative to patient care: While
60% of Canadian health professionals reported speaking to their patients about
oral health, over 85% said they did not feel they had enough information on
oral-systemic links. Further, over 90% said they would recommend oral health
strategies to their patients were they aware of appropriate treatment
    "These results confirm what we have thought to be the case for some time
now," said Casey Hein, Project Director, Oral Systemic Curriculum Development.
"All health-care practitioners are starting to understand that the link
between oral and whole body health is a reality and that oral health
strategies can have a positive impact on overall patient care." AdvancingIn
Oral Health will provide continuing oral health education to over 72,000
Canadian health professionals. Courses will include strategies for
preventative care and integrative practice.
    "Cavities and gum disease can be painful and lead to serious infections,
but they may also contribute to many serious conditions, such as diabetes,
arthritis, respiratory diseases and perhaps heart disease and low birth rate
(PLBW) babies," said Dr. Hubert Benitez, Director, Continuing Dental Education
and Course Director, Dental Practice Management at the University of Manitoba.
"We must not only educate oral healthcare providers in the delivery of dental
services, but also in understanding the importance of oral health to overall
health. Initial continuing education courses will launch in September, 2009.
Course content will focus on practical tools and resources to assist all
health professionals with the proactive management of Canadians' oral health

    AdvancingIn Oral Health ( is a partnership between
the University of Manitoba Faculty of Dentistry (U of M) and mdBriefCase,
AdvancingIn and rxBriefCase. "We are delighted to partner with the University
of Manitoba, Faculty of Dentistry on this essential initiative," said Cynthia
Hastings-James, President of rxBriefCase. "The U of M is an internationally
recognized leader in the area of dental health and the oral-systemic link in
particular launching the world's first International Centre for Oral-Systemic
Health in January of 2008. They understand the importance of expanding
continuing education beyond just dental health professionals. We've received
many requests for dental health programming and given the evidence of the
oral-systemic link, this is the next logical step for us."

    About the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Dentistry:

    Upon the arrival of new Dean Dr. Anthony M. Iacopino in July of 2007, the
Faculty of Dentistry implemented a "Drive for Top Five" strategic plan
designed to make the institution one of the top five dental schools in North
America within five years. This aggressive plan includes "Nine Pillars of
Innovation" representing completely unique initiatives or innovative and
comprehensive approaches to education and training at all levels. The Centre
for Oral-Systemic Health represents the first of the Nine Pillars and brings
together some of the best educators in the world to develop state-of-the-art
multidisciplinary oral-systemic health education/training modules for all
health professionals. "The expansion of the scope for continuing education is
another important pillar," said Dr. Iacopino. "This unique partnership
represents a core activity of our Centre and fits well with our 'Drive for Top
Five' and, in fact, this new venture will allow us to meet our continuing
education mission even more quickly and to a much higher level."

    About mdBriefCase, AdvancingIn and rxBriefCase:

    mdBriefCase Inc has been providing on-line information resources for
Canadian health care professionals since 2002. Their membership now
constitutes the largest multi-disciplinary healthcare community in Canada

    -   42,000 physicians (out of 55,000 in Canada) composed of both family
        physicians, specialists and nurse practitioners
    -   22,000 pharmacists (out of 29,000 in Canada) composed of both
        community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists
    -   10,000 allied health care professionals composed of nurses,
        dietitians, diabetes educators, respiratory technicians etc.

    mdBriefCase Inc educational services are provided through the websites:

    - - this site provides 80-90% of all accredited
        online education for Canadian physicians. mdBriefCase provides about
        36 Mainpro/Maincert-accredited courses each year which average of
        more than 2,000 participants.
    - - this site provides 70-80% of all accredited
        online education for Canadian pharmacists. rxBriefCase provides about
        30 CCCEP/OPQ-accredited courses each year which also average more
        than 2,000 participants.
    - - this portal provides access to 12 medical
        society continuing education online learning programs. AdvancingIn
        provides about 50 Mainpro/Maincert-accredited courses each year which
        also average more than 2,000 participants.

    (*) Member needs assessment, March 2009, mdBriefCase, AdvancingIn and

For further information:

For further information: Dr. Hubert Benitez, DDS, Director, Continuing
Dental Education, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Dentistry, (204)
789-3331,; Nancy Thomson, Vice-President, mdBriefCase
Inc, (416) 488-5500 ext 227,; Cynthia Hastings-James,
President, rxBriefCase Inc, (416) 488-5500 ext 221,

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