Brenda Turner may be a new face to the Foundation, but many may know her for the many years in which she worked for the New York State Society of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. As of the beginning of November, Turner has taken over the newly established role of NYSDF General Manager, through which she will work closely with the Finance Committee and the CE/CERP Advisory Task Force.
An Albany native, Turner now shares a home with nephews Matthew (9) and Michael (7) in the town of Coeyman’s Hollow in southern Albany County.
Before coming to work for NYSSOMS, she held managerial positions with Albany Broadcasting Company, the Holiday Inn Turf, and the NYS Nurses Association.
“One of the reasons I decided to hire Brenda,” explains NYSDF Executive Director Laura Stedman, “is that she’s a real people person and an excellent problem solver. I love that anyone calling the office with questions about, say, their CE registry, can contact her directly (518-689-2727). That personal touch is exceedingly rare today, but it’s essential to ensuring that NYSDA members know that they’re concerns are being met, immediately.”
When she’s not working, Turner enjoys hiking the Catskill Mountains, gardening, Crossfit and yoga.
Registration for the NYS Early Childhood Oral Health Summit
Monday, November 14, 2022
Empire State Plaza, Albany NY
Audience: Policy Makers, Dentists, Doctors,
Head Start Health Coordinators, Early
Childhood Advocates, Local Leaders, State
Agencies, and others interested in supporting
early childhood oral health policy changes in
The final program is being developed and will be available shortly:
11:00 Morning Session:
Best Practice Roundtables
1:00 Afternoon Session:
Best Practice Roundtables
Setting a Policy Agenda
Event Sponsors: Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, NYS Early Childhood Advisory Council, New York State Dental Foundation, NYS Head Start Collaboration Office, NYS Department of Health, NYS Council on Children and Families
Representatives of NY Statewide Senior Action Council get ready to distribute oral health product kits provided by the
NYS Dental Foundation. The Council is committed to providing education about the important issues affecting seniors today. The Foundation has long been invested in issues involving improving the oral health of elder New Yorkers; in 2006, the Foundation hosted Older Adults Access to Oral Health Care, the first ever statewide symposium focused on identifying challenges and potential solutions to the issue of geriatric oral health.
As I write this, I’m looking out at a world of snow and bare tree limbs. But the sun is out, the sky is a brilliant blue, and the temperatures at least are in double digits – it’s a promising sign of spring, and for me, spring means Give Kids a Smile (GKAS).
Since 2007, the NYS Dental Foundation has given out close to $300,000 to community health centers or service programs as part of its GKAS Award program. In choosing our recipients, our Board recognizes innovation, improved outcomes, and the incorporation of education, screening, prevention and access. Most years, the Foundation honors multiple organizations.
Among our past recipients is PRASAD Children’s Dental Health Program, which has actually won multiple times, for the simple reason that everything it does raises awareness among the community at large that children deserve optimum oral health.
PRASAD CDHP delivers comprehensive services, including education, prevention, detection and treatment, via a state-of-the-art mobile clinic, which alleviates transportation issues within rural Sullivan County, where there is a lack of public transportation. Services are provided through arrangements with schools and local agencies such as Sullivan County Public Health and the Head Start program.
I’ve had the pleasure to present the GKAS Award to PRASAD in person, and each time, I was joined by the entire Sullivan County Legislature as well as many other policymakers and stakeholders. Clearly, PRASAD has a presence and sets an example from which so many organizations statewide can learn.
Leading the dental component of PRASAD is Dr. Cecilia Escarra, who explains why PRASAD works: “We are passionate about our work because we know the difference it makes in children’s overall well-being now and throughout their lives.”
Among the patients who have benefited greatly from PRASAD are adorable sisters Queenie, 6, and Melanie, 7, have been receiving dental treatment and education from PRASAD CDHP since 2017. Their mother Qiian Zhen Liu shared that because the PRASAD dental team specializes in children, she trusts PRASAD’s care and experience.
Ms. Liu and the children have learned about and practice flossing and brushing their teeth twice daily. PRASAD CDHP also provides her children with toothbrushes and floss. She added, “Queenie loves to come, and Melanie, who was nervous at first because she used to have many cavities, is now no longer fearful. It’s a very good program; I love bringing the kids there. The doctors give me good advice. I tell my neighbors to take their kids to PRASAD.”
The Liu family’s story is just one example of why the community trusts PRASAD CDHP. Community members are happy to have easily accessible and affordable expert dental care that specializes in children treating the whole family with kindness and care and teaches them how to take care of their teeth so that they can look forward to a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.
PRASAD is just one of many organizations that the NYS Dental Foundation has been able to help annually, and I can’t lie – presenting the GKAS Award, visiting these programs, is truly one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as NYSDF Chair. To see people hard at work, sharing a passion for improving oral health, and to be but a small part of that, is heartening, and is an excellent example of what your Foundation does on behalf of the profession and the public it serves.
If you know an organization like PRASAD that is worthy of consideration, we are accepting GKAS Award applications for 2023 till April 1. Each awardee will receive up to $5,000, as determined by the full Board. For more information and to access the application, click here.