The ADA News (6/30) reported the University at Buffalo announced its S-Miles To Go Mobile Dental Program received $371,000, a 50 percent increase in state funding, to “expand to three counties and double access to care for underserved children in rural areas.” The mobile dental program “seeks to address barriers to health care that exist in rural settings, which include inadequate transportation, few sources of fluoridated water, a shortage of pediatric dentists and a lack of clinics that accept Medicaid.” The bump in state funding “allows the programs to purchase portable dental equipment than can be transported to schools, allowing dental hygienists to visit the sites and perform oral health screenings, cleanings, sealants and fluoride treatment.” Dr. Stephen Abel, associate dean for student, community and professional initiatives, said the mobile dental program helps train dental students and demonstrates the challenges of treating patients in rural settings.
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.
The NYS Department of Health’s Division of Family Health (DFH) welcomes Dionne Richardson, D.D.S. M.P.H. to NYS Department of Health. Dr. Richardson joined DFH on January 25, 2016 as Dental Public Health Epidemiologist. In this role, she will provide consultation and direction for oral health services and provide leadership in establishing and implementing strategies and policies to improve and enhance oral health services for New Yorkers.
Dr. Richardson was most recently the dental director for the Mississippi State Department of Health and has more than 20 years of post-doctoral training and experience in the field of oral health. Dr. Richardson completed her undergraduate work at Xavier University of Louisiana and received her D.D.S from Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Tennessee. She received her Master of Public Health degree through the University of Rochester Medical Center and is a graduate of our Department’s Dental Public Health Residency program. Her current work as a state dental director includes overseeing programs providing valuable public health services to the maternal and child health population such as school based health center sealant programs and other similar programs to improve oral health across the lifespan.
We've rounded up the biggest steps forward in oral health care policy this year. In 2015, solutions to expand dental care access and other preventive measures continued to take root across the United States.
A look back »
Q & A on Water Fluoridation Grant Opportunities Now Available
The New York State Department of Health has posted answers to questions submitted by parties interested in the two fluoridation infrastructure grant opportunities.
One funding opportunity supports municipalities with funding up to $50,000 for the planning and implementation of community water fluoridation. Component 1 will pay for development of an engineering report to initiate or maintain water fluoridation. Component 2 will pay for the upgrade, replacement, repair or purchase of equipment to initiate or maintain water fluoridation. Applications are being accepted until February 29, 2016. Additional details can be found at: Grants Gateway ID: DOH01-DWFC1-2015/ID: DOH01- DWFC2-2015.
The second opportunity is an RFA which will support municipalities seeking between $50,001 and $1 million to upgrade, replace or repair existing water fluoridation equipment or install fluoridation systems in public water systems that have authorized the implementation of fluoridation. Applications are being accepted until February 29, 2016. Additional details can be found at: RFA- Grants Gateway # DOH01-DWF3-2015.
The Q & A documents and the applications are available through the NYS Grants Gateway.
The funding for these opportunities was included in the 2015-2016 New York State Budget.
The Capital District Red Cross is building community support for homeless and in need veterans with its Totes of Hope program. As part of its the Annual Stand-Down, the Red Cross, working with the New York State Dental Foundation, is providing services such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to other necessary services like housing and substance abuse treatment, to homeless veterans as part of one to three day events.
The Foundation is providing toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.
Stand-Downs in the military are traditionally associated with a break in combat when troops are brought in to a safe haven for a period of rest, relaxation, hot meals and a chance to be free from the rigors of war. This also applies to homeless veterans in the area, who need to be free from the rigors of the street.
To participate or find out more about Stand-Downs, go to the www.RedCross.org or check out the attached flyer.
This summer the Foundation worked with the Chenango Health Network to offer an Innovative Readiness Training (IRT), which is providing free medical, optical, dental and veterinary services to the residents of Chenango and surrounding counties, areas which are very rural, with high poverty rates, little to no dental insurance, and low dental utilization rates.
The Department of Defense’s IRT program is a US military volunteer training opportunity that provides training and readiness for military personnel while addressing the needs of underserved American communities. Through this program, military units refine their engineering, health care, diving, and transportation skills by performing services and developing projects for communities that otherwise would not have the resources to conduct them on their own.
The IRT will be offered each day from 13 – 22 July. Army reservists will provide treatments for more than 7,000 people. Following treatment, these individuals will be guided to exit interviews where they will contain take-away bags and follow-up instructions. The Foundation provided tooth brushes, toothpaste and floss for this event.
Chenango Health Network is a non-profit rural health network that offers free services to the community such as insurance navigation, prescription assistance and the services of community health advocates.
“We were thrilled and proud to work with the Army Reserve and the people at the Chenango Health Network,” exclaims Foundation Executive Director Laura Clark Leon. “Innovative Readiness Training provides real world training opportunities for our service members and units to prepare them for their wartime missions while supporting the needs of America's underserved communities.”
Gov. Jerry Brown today announced that Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, will serve as California’s new state dental director. For years, the California Dental Association has advocated for a state dental director — the establishment of this position is a major achievement for the state’s oral health program and access to care planning goals.
“CDA applauds Gov. Brown’s appointment and is looking forward to collaborating with Dr. Kumar, who will bring together an advisory group of stakeholders to help develop plans for improving oral health in California,” said CDA President Walt Weber, DDS. “Under Dr. Kumar’s leadership, New York’s oral health program experienced significant success and is recognized as one of the finest in the nation. We are excited to have his leadership and experience here in California. His excellent grasp of the serious challenges our state faces in reducing barriers to dental care, and his knowledge of effective disease prevention programs and federal funding opportunities, will be a tremendous asset to California.”
Kumar comes to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with more than 25 years of experience in the New York State Bureau of Dental Health, where he served as director of oral health surveillance and research and as director of the New York State Dental Public Health Residency. He has held the positions of state dental director and acting director since 2009 and is responsible for developing the first comprehensive state oral health plan for New York.
“CDA made the establishment of a state dental director a top priority of its access to care plan, Phased Strategies for Reducing the Barriers to Dental Care in California,” said Weber. CDA developed the report in 2011 as a comprehensive strategic approach to reducing barriers to oral health care for vulnerable Californians.
According to the CDPH, Kumar will direct and manage the oral health program in the CDPH and, in collaboration with the Department of Health Care Services provide leadership in developing and implementing innovative strategies and policies to reduce oral health disparities in California. In addition to a state oral health plan, Kumar will also be responsible for establishing prevention and oral health education projects and working to secure funding for prevention-focused oral health programs, particularly for children.
Dental disease is the most common chronic childhood disease, more common than both asthma and obesity, affecting nearly two-thirds of California’s children by the time they reach third grade. It is one of the top reasons children are absent from school.
Kumar has experience obtaining competitive grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration. He directed oral disease prevention and control activities, including New York’s statewide fluoridation program serving more than 12.9 million residents.