The Joys of Combating Misinformation

Moderated by Julie Boeckman, DHSS Office of Dental Health; Presented by Dr. Johnny Johnson, DMD, MS, President of American Fluoridation Society, and Roger Sullivan, MO Oral Health Advocate and Water Operator

Sponsored by DHSS Office of Dental Health

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This session will provide overview of CWF opponents’ claims of harms caused by fluoride levels in CWF.  During this time we will discuss specific claims to demonstrate how opponent’s claim(s) are constructed to create fear and deconstruct the opponent’s claims.  This session will include information on communications: how to avoid reinforcing the opponent’s claims, the role of water utility managers/operators in CWF, and the role of CWF decision-makers in deciding to start, continue, or cease it.  Participants will receive resources for credible information.

Johnny Johnson, DMD, MS, is a pediatric dentist from Pinellas County, Florida who is also the co-founder and President of the American Fluoridation Society. Dr. Johnson has delivered presentations, training and testimony about fluoride in numerous states, including Kansas, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and his home state of Florida, as well as in the U.K. and Canada. Dr. Johnson’s leadership role in fluoridation advocacy began after his county commission voted to end fluoridation to >700,000 residents — a decision that was successfully reversed after he worked with others to form a coalition in the Clearwater-St. Petersburg, FL area. Dr. Johnson was a key source of information for the reporters and editors who helped the Tampa Bay Times win a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the fluoridation issue. He received his dental training from the University of Florida, and he earned his Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry and Masters of Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Roger Sullivan

Mr. Roger Sullivan was born and raised on a working dairy farm in Carroll County Mo. After high school he attended Midwest Business School for Accounting where he graduated with his accounting degrees. Roger has been employed as a factory worker, carpenter, plumber, truck mechanic, coal miner, truck driver and for the last 30 plus years, he has worked in the water and wastewater industry. He has a Class A water certificate, a Class B wastewater certificate and a DS III Distribution certificate.

Julie Boeckman, Office of Dental Health Program Manager, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Missouri State University in 1996 with a degree in Child Development and a minor in Psychology. She started her public health career in 2001 at the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services. She started in the environmental program and then was Missouri's Vaccines for Children Program Coordinator for five years before joining the Office of Dental Health as Program Manager in December 2017. In the Office Dental Health, she oversees nine different grants and numerous programs like water fluoridation, dental sealants, dental screenings, fluoride varnish, education, workforce and care for Veterans in order to improve Missourian's oral health.