Welcome!

News Feed Item

UMD and Catholic Charities Join Forces to Deliver $1 Million in Free Dental Care

State of the Art Dental and Healthcare Services for 1,000 Patients

COLLEGE PARK, Md., Sept. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The University of Maryland (UMD) Terrapins' basketball court at the XFINITY Center (formerly the Comcast Center), will transform into a mobile dental clinic with 100 dental chairs, to provide $1 million of free dental care to more than 1,000 underserved, uninsured, and underinsured adults. The dental clinic is part of the two-day Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival, sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Public Health's Center for Health Equity (M-CHE) (a NIH-NIMHD Center of Excellence on Race, Ethnicity and Disparities Research), Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Maryland State Dental Association, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Kaiser Permanente, Cigna and DentaQuest.

University of Maryland, College Park Logo.

Since the death of Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy from Prince George's County who died in 2007 from an untreated dental infection, the state of Maryland has seen improvements in its oral health programs and policies. There remains a great need for dental services, however, especially for adults. The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reports that for 2012 almost 20 percent of Maryland residents surveyed had not visited a dentist within the past five years and seven percent had not visited a dentist in more than five years.

On September 5 and 6, approximately 800 volunteers, including licensed dentists, hygienists, and dental assistants, will provide state of the art dental services, including cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals and oral hygiene education.

"The Maryland Center for Health Equity's goal for this event is not only to serve people in need of emergency dental care but also to connect people in great need to quality healthcare.  Ultimately, the aim is to empower people to take control of their own health," said Professor Stephen B. Thomas, from the School of Public Health Department of Health Services Administration and Founding Director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, a NIH Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.  The event also helps to achieve the Federal Healthy People 2020's oral health objectives to increase awareness of the importance of oral health to overall health and well-being, and reduce disparities in access to effective preventive and dental treatment services.

This is the first time that Catholic Charities is convening a Mission of Mercy (MOM) project on a university campus with an academic research partner, and adding a health promotion component that addresses the broader physical and social determinants of health. "I'm so excited to see so many individuals from our community receive the gift of free dental care. All of this could not take place without the support of so many, especially our local dentists and dental hygienists," said Monsignor John Enzler of Catholic Charities. "This will be a remarkable experience for the givers and receivers. Catholic Charities is thrilled to be a part of the Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival."

While the Affordable Care Act provides dental coverage for children and for pregnant women in Maryland, most adults still lack dental coverage. In Prince George's County, a vast number of these adults are low-income, immigrants, African-American or Hispanic. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, although most oral diseases are preventable, many individuals do not seek dental services for reasons such as: cost, lack of dental insurance, lack of access to dental services, fear of dental procedures or lack of awareness.

"Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA), through its many volunteer endeavors, recognizes a greater need for access to care issues for many of the underserved in our communities. Maryland has been recognized as a leader in providing access to care to the needy. Our volunteer dentists spend huge resources to put on our Mission of Mercy events throughout the state," said Dr. Tristam Kruger, Editor of the Journal of the Maryland State Dental Association. "Each MOM event is staffed with caring doctors and others who treat the many thousands of people who come seeking care at no costs to the patient. Donated Dental Services is another way MSDA volunteer dentists treat patients for no charge – right in the volunteer dentist's office. There are no perfect solutions to access to care issues, but Maryland dentists (and surrounding jurisdictions) are addressing the problems and getting care to those who need it most," he said.

"The Mission of Mercy is an opportunity to promote inter-institutional collaboration and inter-professional education," said Professor Jane E. Clark, Dean of the School of Public Health. "This event will advance a better state of health by providing access to high-quality dental care and health promotion services for Maryland's vulnerable populations," she said. 

The Health Equity Festival represents a collaborative effort of academic, state and county agencies, area hospitals, healthcare facilities, managed care and community-based organizations that will offer the following additional services:

  • Health promotion and disease prevention screenings (hepatitis C, diabetes, HIV, and vision),
  • Evidence-based chronic disease management information for people with chronic diseases,
  • Assistance in understanding and navigating the Maryland Health Connection Insurance Program,
  • Health literacy,
  • Legal assistance for medical debt, and
  • Other social and mental health service resources.

Choirs from UMD's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and Department of Music will also perform live singing and music throughout the day to create a gracious space designed to promote stress reduction and healing.

"In addition to the oral health challenges, many of the individuals that will receive care also face other social, economic, and health issues that may include diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.  We want to make sure that we are addressing some of the other diseases and issues that people may have, by offering health screenings, medical debt counseling, and other types of wraparound services," said Professor Thomas.  "And none of this would be feasible without the many volunteers and partners that have come together to make this event possible.  It is a remarkable demonstration of what we can do as a community when we advance cooperation over competition in the delivery of lifesaving health services for our most vulnerable neighbors," he said.

Care will be provided from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

"At Cigna, we are committed to improving the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve. We are proud to work together with community partners to help provide critical oral care to those in need, educate individuals about good preventive care habits and enhance their overall health," said Julia Huggins, president for Cigna in Maryland.

SiriusXM's Joe Madison will broadcast his national, daily show live from the XFINITY Center from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. EST.  The host will interview local, state, and national leaders, scientists, medical and public health professionals, academicians, dentists, patients, community advocates and others, about various dental care and health disparity issues. SiriusXM Urban View can be heard on channel 126, and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com

Follow the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy & Health Equity Festival on twitter at: #umdhealthequity. For additional information, visit: http://sph.umd.edu/center/che

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130808/DC61542LOGO

SOURCE University of Maryland

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are still a relatively small software house and we are focusing on certain industries like FinTech, med tech, energy and utilities. We help our customers with their digital transformation," noted Piotr Stawinski, Founder and CEO of EARP Integration, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We're here to tell the world about our cloud-scale infrastructure that we have at Juniper combined with the world-class security that we put into the cloud," explained Lisa Guess, VP of Systems Engineering at Juniper Networks, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.