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News (Foundation)

  • From Left: Larry Caplin, DMD and Kelli-Ann Caplin (CF Charities Founders), John Suggs (CF Charities Executive Director), Laura Doyle (DTAF Executive Director), and Paul Hinsch (DTAF Board Chairman)

This text will be replaced with the slideshowThe DTA Foundation was nominated and selected as a 2017 recipient of the Distinguished Champion for Kids Award presented by CF Charities. This award is given to those who have demonstrated a strong commitment to help local organizations, under-served communities and schools improve the lives of young people, and expand CF Charities' promise of fueling bright futures. DTA Foundation Executive Director Laura Doyle and Board of Directors Chairman Paul Hinsch attended the 2017 CF Charities Fueling Bright Futures for Kids Gala in June to accept the award.

This text will be replaced with the slideshowA current Dental Trade Alliance Foundation grantee,The Altarum Insistitute, has helped nearly 33,000 kids in 30 states improve their oral health through their SmileConnect® program --thanks, in large part, to your donations to the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation.

“Support from DTA Foundation has allowed the SmileConnect community to move outside of Michigan, officially launching our nationwide expansion,” said Haley McDermott, Altarum Institute’s Center for Implementation Science philanthropic outreach coordinator. “With DTAF’s support, the SmileConnect community has developed strong partnerships with dental and dental hygiene schools, oral health manufacturers, and philanthropic organizations- relationships critical to addressing each state’s unique oral health climate and needs. ... All of this was possible because of DTAF’s support, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”

Since receiving a $25,000 DTA Foundation grant for its Super Smiles, Super Bodies dental education program in 2015, MORE HEALTH, Inc. has taught more than 30,000 elementary students in the Tampa area the importance of their teeth and how to keep them healthy.

“The Super Smiles, Super Bodies project served elementary school children, teachers, and parents in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. During the grant period, MORE HEALTH taught dental education to over 30,000 kindergarten, first and second grade students (the majority in Title 1 schools - low income),” said More Health Executive Director Karen P. Buckenheimer. “Each student brought home oral health education for parents or caregivers. The Sealant video was based on content in the dental lessons taught to elementary students in the school setting.”

Helping older adults in nursing homes maintain good oral health can be a challenge--one that Foundation for Quality Care addressed with its Mouth Care Without a Battle program, which benefited from a $25,000 DTA Foundation grant in 2015. Since then, the program has helped train caregivers in more than 20 facilities.

Thanks to a $25,000 DTA Foundation grant in 2015, Kids Smiles, which serves low-income, at-risk children in underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, has been able to implement the Electronic Oral Health Screening System to benefit kids’ oral health.

“Over 90% of Kids Smiles’ patients are insured by Medicaid, CHIP, or are completely uninsured,” said Kids Smiles CEO Cheryl Janssen. “While the Electronic Oral Health Screening System (EOHSS) pilot project participants were Kids Smiles patients, the goal of the project is to create a consistent, uniform screening process that will be used on all children nationwide.”

“The most significant outcome of the project other than the tremendous learnings that took place at the training events, was the conversion of the first Smile Generation-supported dental practice dedicated to treating patients with special needs,” said Ms. Vartanian. “This completely sensory integrated practice will now have the capacity to support individuals with not only intellectual disabilities, but those with physical ones as well.”

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More than 3,600 families had a little something extra at bedtime thanks to the New Jersey Department of Health, Children's Oral Health Program and a $25,000 grant from the DTA Foundation in 2015.

“Bedtime Bytes (BB) was an interactive oral health project that was implemented at two Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and the College of New Jersey/School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science,” said Beverly Kupiec-Sce, Ph.D., R.N., director of the children’s oral health program. “The goals were to increase oral health literacy, assist in establishing a dental home, and improve the oral health status of high-risk children.Oral health training was conducted for a multi-disciplinary staff of pediatricians, family practice physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered and licensed practical nurses and medical assistants. A training was also conducted for senior-level community health nursing students at the College of New Jersey.”

Parents and caregivers of children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities within Marion County and rural Indiana participated in a Butler University study designed to gage the effects of video modeling to improve the oral health of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“The clinical phase of the project included 22 families who completed at least two visits and provided feedback on the effectiveness of the online videos,” said Butler University Vice President of Finance and Administration Bruce Arick. “These families received clinical examinations and services from well-trained practitioners who provided guidance on oral health care for their child with intellectual and developmental disabilities and suggestions on working through cognitive and behavioral challenges, and other sensory issues. Families received an honorarium (gift card) after completion of the project.”

Dr. Debra Peterson’s commitment to community volunteering helped single her out to the DTA Foundation Scholarship Committee, which awarded her a scholarship in 2015. Recently we caught up with her to find out where she is now in her career and what the future holds for her.

What are your three biggest takeaways from dental school as you move forward with your career?

In 2015, Jasma’ McDonald was an up and coming dental student at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry who had a deep commitment to giving back to her community. The DTA Foundation recognized her dedication and awarded her a scholarship. Recently we caught up with the now Dr. McDonald to find out what she’s been up to since graduating in 2016.

“I am currently a 1st year pediatric resident at UIC. Upon completion of my program in 2018,” she said. “I will fulfill my National Health Service Corp Obligation by working in a rural area for four years.”

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