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The New York State Dental Foundation, which was incorporated in 1980, was established to foster a statewide approach to the advancement of the art and science of dentistry and dental education as well as to improve the quality of dental care by:
a. assisting dentists and their staffs to increase and advance their skills and knowledge;
b. encouraging the establishment and assisting in the development of student aid programs;
c. making grants to appropriate agencies for purposes of research;
d. making grants to dental schools or other organizations involved in the education of dentists; and
e. increasing the public's understanding of and access to dental services.
The New York State Dent al Foundation has a simple mission: to improve the oral health care of all New Yorkers.
This guiding principal informs all of our projects and endeavors, from sponsoring educational courses for dentists and dental hygienists, to investing in community programs that set higher standards of oral health care and quality to better meet the challenges of the future.
The Foundation is a valuable resource to the profession and the community. Among the hallmarks of the last year has been our initiative to promote the children's dental health certification project. Working with the New York State departments of Health and Education, and the Bureau of Dental Health, the Foundation has worked to ensure that all public schools, school administrators and nurses understand the new law, which requires that school districts request a dental health certificate from children in grades K, 2, 4, 7 and 10. A major goal going forward is to develop a network of dental homes for these children.
The Foundation has invested in the state's dental schools, donating $140,000 to the New York Academic Dental Centers to develop an online course to be used by each of the state's dental schools, as well as to establish a loan forgiveness program to attract much-needed faculty. Five dental students and/or residents at New York State dental schools received the prestigious NYSDF Deans Award, a $5,000 prize given in recognition of academic excellence and commitment to public health.
In 2009, we provided three $5,000 Give Kids a Smile awards to the following programs, which are proving vital in the fight against childhood oral disease in isolated localities: Baker Victory Dental Services (Lackawanna), PRASAD Children's Dental Health Program (Hurleyville), Tioga Mobile Dental Services (Owego).
In an effort to promote volunteerism and to improve access to care, we have expanded our program to underwrite the cost of MLMIC malpractice policies to dentists who volunteer at Harvest House Ministry Center (Buffalo); Health Ministries of the Southern Tier (Corning) and St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center (Rochester).
Following up on the success of our groundbreaking 2008 Summit on Oral Health Care, HIV & AIDS, we presented the 2009 Conference on Oral Pathology & Rapid HIV Testing, which included a half-day training session on Rapid HIV Testing.
Our efforts to educate the profession about the importance of education and outreach in treating a vulnerable population have been recognized by the State. Together we can build a stronger community that will enrich our professional lives and enhance the
quality, accessibility and public perception of dentistry.
- Laura Leon
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