Dental Action Coalition receives oral health grant (via @stardem_news)

8 Jan

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The Maryland Dental Action Coalition recently announced that they are recipients of the DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 grant. MDAC will receive $189,000 in funding over a one-year period to support the organization’s work to address oral health disparities facing children and women throughout Maryland.

MDAC will use the funding to focus efforts on the DentaQuest Foundation’s goal of eradicating dental disease in children, with 75 percent of children reaching age 5 without a cavity by 2020. Specifically, MDAC will use the funds to pursue efforts to extend Medicaid dental coverage for postpartum women; engage Maryland communities and organizations to ensure that oral health equity remains a top priority for Maryland’s children; expand its collaborative network of partners to focus efforts on the importance of children’s oral health; and communicate with immigrant and refugee populations to ensure access to oral health education and resources for parents and caregivers.

“The funds from the DentaQuest Foundation allow us to continue our work toward improving the health of all Maryland’s children through increased oral health prevention, education, advocacy and access to dental care,” said Margie Donohue, executive director of MDAC. “We’ve already made significant advances in improving oral health in Maryland, especially for women and children, but there is much more to do. We are confident that with the programs this grant supports, along with being part of a collective national effort supported by the DentaQuest Foundation, we will accomplish our goal of reducing dental disease in children by 75 percent by 2020.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, oral disease is the most common chronic disease among U.S. children. It impacts two out of every five children by kindergarten. Fifty-two million school hours are lost annually due to oral disease, which can negatively affect a child’s ability to learn, eat, smile and play. Low-income and minority children, primarily Hispanic and African American, are disproportionately affected by oral disease, have a greater number of untreated cavities, and are at greater risk than middle class, white children.

The DentaQuest Foundation’s Oral Health 2020 effort is a multi-year national movement designed to strengthen and unify a national network of resources and build upon current efforts to eradicate dental disease in children and improve oral health across the lifespan. During the next five to seven years, through a number of funding initiatives, the foundation plans to improve oral health and reduce oral health disparities by working to address oral health care policy, broaden access to quality care and prevention, align financial investments in oral health and expand the integration of oral health into community-based systems.

“The Maryland Dental Action Coalition is a strong and passionate advocate for access to quality oral health care for all Marylanders. It has worked hard to address disparities at all levels,” said Ralph Fuccillo, chief mission officer, DentaQuest and President, DentaQuest Foundation. “Their plan to address the oral health needs of women and children and build collaboration between the medical and dental community is a sound one. We are excited to see them move forward and engage their communities to embrace this challenge.”

Source: http://www.stardem.com/life/article_29b1f633-5238-5b59-b5d8-b3414955132b.html

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