Celebrating Orthodontist’s highest recognition
How to cite this article: Tan R. Celebrating Orthodontist’s highest recognition. APOS Trends Orthod. 2024;14:1-2. doi: 10.25259/APOS_13_2024
Being recognized for exceptional contributions and achievements is a great honor. When a member of a professional organization receives the highest award from the government or an independent institution, it is a moment of immense pride and celebration. These awards reflect the individual’s dedication, expertise, and commitment to their field. They also highlight the significance of their work. But what does it take to receive recognition from the highest authority or institution? The Asian Pacific Orthotic Society (APOS) takes pride in celebrating excellence among fellow members who stand exceptionally tall in their respective fields, and they are the following:
Dr Chng Chai Kiat: Chief Dental Officer (CDO) of the Ministry of Health, Singapore
Dr. Chng Chai Kiat served as the President of the Association of Orthodontists Singapore (AOS) from 2013 to 2015. He was appointed as Singapore’s Chief Dental Officer on May 1, 2018, and among his responsibilities were the registration, regulations, ethics, and conduct of all dentists and therapists and investigating complaints against dentists. Prior to becoming Singapore’s CDO, Dr. Chng was an APOS Executive Committee Member (ECM) for the Association of Orthodontists- Singapore (AOS and played a key in formulating the APOSs’ Code of Conduct for Executive Committee Members. Dr. Chng receives the highest appointment in Singapore, and this position is often given to individuals with exemplary leadership, innovation, and expertise in their respective fields. Dr. Chng’s appointment as Singapore’s CDO officially recognizes his exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the profession.
Dr. Ermelinda Galang: Most Outstanding Professional Dentist Award, Philippines
Dr. Ermelinda Galang served as the President of the Association of Philippine Orthodontists (APO) in 1984–1986 and 2019–2021. She was also the former chairperson of the Philippine Board of Orthodontics (PBO). Dr. Galang was a Charter/Founding member of the APO and a faculty member of the Graduate Program in Orthodontics at the University of the Philippines College of Dentistry. This program was the country’s first University-based postgraduate program for orthodontics, established in 1989. Dr. Galang’s dedication to teaching led her to assume the position of Chair in 1996–1997. She was the past President of the Academy of Dentistry International and the International College of Dentists Republic of the Philippines sections. The “Outstanding Professional of the Year award” is the highest award bestowed upon a professional by the Commission for having sufficiently demonstrated professional competence of the highest degree and conducted herself with integrity in the practice of her profession.
Demonstrating competence and integrity are shown by the professional’s meaningful participation in activities within the organization, significant contribution to the profession’s advancement, and effective discharge of social responsibility through personal or professional engagement in social-related activities.
Dr. Eddie Hsiang-Hua Lai: Director-General of the Department of Oral Health, Ministry of Health in Taiwan
Dr. Eddie Hsiang-Hua Lai served as the Immediate Past President of the Taiwan Association of Orthodontists from 2020 to 2022. He was appointed Director-General of the Department of Oral Health, Ministry of Health in Taiwan. In addition, he was the President-Elect of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation and was organizing the 45th Asia Pacific Dental Congress, which was scheduled to be held in Taipei, Taiwan, in May 2024. Unfortunately, he passed away in November 2023. Dr. Lai dedicated his life to working for the profession. His recognition as the individual in the country’s highest position inspires future generations of professionals. He serves as a benchmark for excellence and a role model for aspiring individuals within and outside the organization.
Dr. Arif Alvi - The 13th President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Dr. Arif Alvi is a renowned professional who has held many important positions in Dentistry. He currently serves as the Dean of Orthodontics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan and has held various esteemed positions, including President of the Pakistan Dental Association (1997–2001), Pakistan Association of Orthodontists (2005), President of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation (2006–2007), and Councilor of the World Dental Federation (2007–2013). Through his dedicated efforts within the World Dental Federation, he successfully advocated for the declaration of March 20th as World Oral Health Day. The election of Dr. Alvi as President of Pakistan indicates a significant moment in his career and represents a vote of confidence from the citizens, which means that every decision he makes will affect the nation’s welfare. When a professional individual becomes the President of a country, it signifies that one has reached the highest echelons of leadership.
The highest recognition in the country or institution as an orthodontist reflects an individual’s professional competence. It represents the highest standards of integrity, leadership, expertise, and dedication to the profession, inspiring and uplifting many association members. Dr. Chng Chai Kiat, Dr. Ermelinda Galang, Dr. Eddie Hsiang-Hua Lai, and Dr. Arif Alvi are examples of orthodontists who have received such recognition for their exceptional accomplishments and contributions to the profession. The recognition further enhances the prestige and credibility of their position, signifying the importance of their work to society. Other orthodontists in our region have received great recognition and whom I may have failed to mention. I wish to include their stories of success in future write-ups.
Receiving or being honored with the highest award not only celebrates an individual’s achievement but also enhances the reputation and visibility of the organization as a whole. Their accomplishments reflect positively on the organization, highlighting its role in fostering excellence and driving groundbreaking advancements within the industry. It also attracts attention from other professionals, potential collaborators, and stakeholders, further strengthening the organization’s network and impact.
Truly, these exceptional orthodontists have mastered the art of achievement - the art of making their lives a masterpiece! Their recognition brings pride to their profession and inspires others to strive for greatness. Their achievements highlight the impact and importance of the orthodontic profession in improving oral health and the overall well-being of individuals. As we celebrate these exceptional individuals and their accolades, we honor all the orthodontists worldwide who work tirelessly to create beautiful smiles and transform lives.
It is my sincere hope that these awardees will inspire more orthodontists to reach greater heights for the betterment of our association, country, and the greater glory of God.