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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive ad...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...