May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Keeping up with the ‘Important Extras’

September 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 5

Summers are a blur. We return from Annual Session and dive into the summer practice rush, which is followed by back-to-school crush all while squeezing in as much family time we can plus all the other important extras in our lives.

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children is among my most important extras. The Foundation is a perfect mix of everything that is professionally important to me: I love helping kids and I love bringing our professional expertise to the children and families who are not fortunate enough to receive regular dental care.

As youve read in these pages over the last three years, the Foundation has helped thousands of families who cannot afford oral care for their children. Our Access to Care Grants have helped more than 300,000 kids to date, and our goal is to help more than 200,000 next year alone.

This is an important year for Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The Academy is playing a leading role in public education outreach through its participation in the Partnership for Healthy Mouths Healthy Lives, and meanwhile the Foundation is expanding its efforts through:

Doubling the number of Access to Care Grants (20) to be awarded in 2013

Introducing HSHC Dental Home Day, an annual community service project in conjunction with the AAPD Annual Session (see story on page 39)

Developing expanded, multi-year Access to Care initiatives

Exploring new opportunities for helping underserved kids

There are a number of charities that play important roles in the child oral health. However, Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children has the critical ingredient they lack: You.

Our greatest strength is the 8,400 members of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Your expertise, your passion and your generosity combined can make all the difference in our collective abilities to provide answers to the nations access to care questions, one child at a time.

At Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children, we believe every child deserves a dental home. Whether its through the care you provide in your practice, the volunteering you do in your home town, or the charitable gifts you make to Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children, we all make a difference in the lives of children including the children in need across the country.

This is my last year of my three-year term as HSHC president. As proud as I am of the progress weve made thanks to the vision of Foundation leaders through the years, I know we can do more collectively to improve childrens overall oral health. Together we can reduce access to care problems and other barriers preventing children from receiving quality oral care.

As craziness of summer gives way to the craziness of the year-end, please keep underserved kids high among the important extras in your life  whether theyre in your practice, in your community work, in your charitable giving plans, or all of the above.

Every child deserves a dental home. Thank you for your ongoing support of Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children.

David K. Curtis, D.M.D., is a private practitioner in Columbus, Miss., and an AAPD past president.