TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - June 01, 2016) - Dr. Jack McLister's path into dentistry was almost inevitable. While pondering his choice of career, Dr. McLister thought about following in his father's footsteps and becoming a physician. Ultimately, his choice of dentistry was influenced by an important role model: his grandfather, Dr. Carl McLister, who was the first dentist in Sandwich (now part of Windsor). "The road to dentistry was an unexpected one, but it was the best thing that could have happened to me."

This road has now led McLister to the pinnacle of his career -- as the new President of the Ontario Dental Association (ODA), the professional association that represents more than 9,000 dentists in Ontario. His one-year term begins June 1.

A member of the ODA for 41 years, Dr. McLister's involvement in organized dentistry began immediately after graduating from the University of Western Ontario (now Western University). He joined the London and District Dental Society in 1975 and sat on numerous committees that were focused on community outreach, such as dental health education and patient mediations. His official ODA biography includes a long list of committees and task forces, as well as two terms on the ODA Board of Directors, demonstrating his outstanding dedication to his profession.

But he has an equally strong devotion to the oral health of his patients. Even though he retired from the family practice he ran for 38 years in London ("The relationship with my patients is what I miss the most,") he continues to advocate for his patients -- and all Ontarians -- as ODA President.

"There are many issues that strike at the heart of all dentists; the big one is access to dental care," says Dr. McLister. "We are working with government to make sure public dental programs are funded sustainably and equitably so that timely, high-quality dental care is delivered to those who need it most."

There is also the ongoing debate over community water fluoridation, which baffles Dr. McLister. "Fluoridation has been used successfully in North America for the past 70 years, and reputable scientific studies conducted throughout this time have consistently shown its safety and efficacy." As well, Dr. McLister cites as troubling the ever-increasing consumption of sugar by children and adults, leading as it does to diabetes, obesity and oral health concerns.

Becoming ODA President also allows Dr. McLister to lead the celebration of the ODA's 150th anniversary in 2017. "This milestone will allow us to highlight the many accomplishments the ODA has achieved over the past century and a half, including the founding of the dental public health programs Ontarians enjoy today."

Dr. McLister continues to teach at Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western University, where he has been part-time Adjunct Clinical Professor for close to four decades. In his community, he served on the committee of the Annual Cystic Fibrosis Charity Golf Tournament and chaired the fundraising committee of Masonville Public School in London.

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For more information, contact:
Catherine Solmes
ODA Communications and Public Affairs
416-922-3900, ext. 3305