Focusing a Spotlight on a Chronic National Problem
Leaders in organized dentistry, the corporate sector, public policy, and academic dentistry gathered at NYUCD on February 2, 2007, for the Fifth Annual Give Kids A Smile® Day, a national advocacy and access to dental care day sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), Long Island based healthcare products distributor Henry Schein, ColgatePalmolive, and the DEXIS Corporation to focus attention on the barriers that poor and uninsured children face in accessing dental care.
NYUCD was the national host site for the event, which officially kickedoff National Children’s Dental Health Month. Two thousand additional sites across the nation also marked Give Kids A Smile® Day, with some 50,000 dental volunteers providing an estimated $75 million in free care.
“What today really should be about,” Interim Dean Vogel said, “goes beyond giving care on this day only. It should be about focusing a very large spotlight on healthcare disparities in our country.”
Dr. Kathy Roth, President of the American Dental Association, spoke of the importance of giving underserved children across the country the opportunity to realize their full potential.
Other speakers included Dr. James Bramson, Executive Director of the ADA; New York City Councilmember Rosie Mendez; Mr. Stanley Bergman, a founding corporate sponsor of Give Kids A Smile® Day; Mr. Steve Kess, Chairman of the Give Kids A Smile® National Advisory Board; Dr. Foti Panagakos, Professional Relations, Clinical Studies Director for ColgatePalmolive; Mr. Bob Joyce, President, Americas, Danaher Dental Equipment Platform, representing the DEXIS Corporation; and Dr. Amr Moursi, Professor and Chair of the NYU Department of Pediatric Dentistry, who noted that in national surveys, parents say that of all their children’s healthcare needs, dental care is the most difficult to access.