Project Accessible Oral Health Honors Champions for Care

From left is Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, Morton Amsterdam Dean, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; Marshall Hayes, Development Director, ADA Foundation; Dr. Amid I. Ismail, BDS, MPH, DrPH, MBA, Laura H. Carnell Professor and Dean at the Kornberg School of Dentistry, Temple University; Larry Paul, DDS, Vice President, Corporate Dental, AmeriHealth Caritas; and Jim Laughman, President, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Solutions, AmeriHealth Caritas. (Photo: Business Wire)

Project Accessible Oral Health at The Viscardi Center, a global public-private partnership that aims to improve access to oral health care and improve the overall health of the disability community, recently held its annual summit and “First Steps” awards ceremony as it continues to advance the conversation around fostering culturally competent oral healthcare for people with disabilities.

The summit, “Champions for Oral Healthcare in the Disability Community,” took place June 17-18 at The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, bringing together dental and medical professionals, educators, policymakers, people with disabilities, caregivers, and other stakeholders. The event kicked off with an awards ceremony at The Study at University City highlighting the groundbreaking work of four honorees:

  • AmeriHealth Caritas/Keystone First were recognized for creating a new dental insurance plan specifically to address the needs of people with disabilities, and for committing to train its providers to competently and confidently treat its plan members. The honorees were inspired to create the plan by the inaugural Project Accessible Oral Health conference in 2017.
  • The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and Temple University’s Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry were each honored for their commitment to treating people with disabilities, and ensuring that future generations of dentists are taught how to address the oral health needs of the disability community.
  • The ADA Foundation was honored for its recent ADA Foundation Challenge, which raised awareness of the oral health access issues facing people with disabilities among thousands of American Dental Association members.

Throughout the rest of the event, attendees discussed progress that has been made since Project Accessible Oral Health’s inception in 2017 and celebrated individuals who have led efforts to improve access to care around the world. Panel discussions explored ongoing oral health challenges facing the disability community.

For a closer look at the issues discussed during the event, visit:

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