Good afternoon, and thank you, as always, for allowing me the opportunity to present to you about the activities of the New York State Dental Foundation.
I want to start with an update on the dental demonstration project that the Foundation worked on with NYSDA. I am happy to report that we are receiving another year of funding from the State – more details regarding what’s next will follow once we get the paperwork from the Governor’s office, but today I can focus on what we were able to accomplish to date.
NYSDA and the Foundation conducted four dental demonstrations: Ovid Community Health in Ovid (13 November 2015 and 4-5 March 2016) and Oak Orchard Community Health in Brockport (19 March 2015).
The expenditures from the Year One grant only amounted to $60,597.39 (out of the initial $250,000 outlay). We were able to provide $78,000 worth of dental treatment to 167 patients ranging in age from 2 to 87. This shows a $1.25:$1 ratio of treatment value to expense. However, it is important to note that this ratio does not take into consideration the amount and dollar value of time volunteered by members of the dental profession and auxiliary staff and volunteers. As we move forward with Year 2 of the project, we confidently anticipate that, by leveraging our experience to date, the dollar value of treatment provided will multiply, even as the number of potential patients increases.
For the rest of my report, I’m going to focus on three very exciting new initiatives. The first is the New York State Dental Foundation Donated Equipment Program. As dentistry’s premier philanthropic and charitable organization in the state, the Foundation builds relationships to help make a difference in our communities through better oral health. Working with industry partners to provide donations of equipment and supplies, we will assist organizations to further their outreach and improve access to care to those in need.
Secondly, on May 16th, we will launch the NYSDF Volunteer Registry, which, as you may remember, is our way to recognize the volunteerism done by our profession. The registry will record hours spent providing pro bono charitable dental care to vulnerable and at risk populations. Participants will receive an annual certificate commemorating that commitment; in turn, NYSDA will be able to show policymakers the total number of hours volunteered by the profession that dentists truly go the distance to ensure a healthier population.
Finally, to further promote the Volunteer Registry, we are spearheading a statewide Veterans Smile Day promotion, during which participating dentists can screen and treat veterans in their offices on Veterans Day – or throughout that week. Dentists may also decide for themselves the amount of care they wish to provide veterans, and also whether they would like to open up the program to that veteran’s immediate family. Participants can determine how many patients they wish to see, depending on their availability and wishes. All veterans qualify for the program. And, of course, participating dentists can then submit their hours to the Volunteer Registry.
With this promotion, we will work closely with Membership & Communications as well as with the Journal to really try to get a lot of promotion out of this initiative.
I wanted to end by saying that I look forwarding to hosting all of you at our annual Foundation of Excellence luncheon, which will be Saturday, June 4, at the House of Delegates meeting.