September 2017 Volume LII Number 5

 
 
 
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A Message from Your HSHC President

July 2017 Volume LII Number 4

One in a Million

Dental Home Day is the highlight of the year for Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children. Thanks to the convergence of chil- dren, pediatric dentists and great host clinics, along with support from Sunstar Americas, it’s one of the best places to see member generosity in action.

This year’s event during AAPD 2017 was just as stellar as previous years, and it gave me the chance as HSHC President to mingle with patients, parents and volunteers in a whole new way.

One of my personal highlights was the time I spent with Kahla. She was one of the 150 children who participated in the day’s activities. Including patients screened and scheduled before the event, this year’s Dental Home Day connected 200 children to the dental care they need.

Connecting children to the dental care they need is at the core of what we do at Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children. In fact, including the grants we approved in May, we’ve now made some $4.5 million in grants and commitments to organizations in 32 states and the District of Columbia. All told, our HSHC grantees have helped more than 320,000 children since 2010.

That got us thinking: Why not go bigger?

Someone suggested one million kids. Since we started sup- porting initiatives for underserved children, we’ve expanded each year, issuing one-year $20,000 grants and five-year $375,000 grants. But a million children? A million children like Kahla? It came down to a question of, "Why not?"

At our May meeting, the HSHC board of trustees approved a strategic plan that set a goal that our grantees will reach the one million child mark by June 2022.

Reaching that goal will require a new approach, but since my friend and Immediate Past HSHC President Dr. Beverly Largent led the charge to put the Foundation on our children-first course nine years ago, AAPD members have responded to every chal- lenge. In fact, thanks to you, the $4.5 million in grants made since 2010 is more pure philanthropy (grants to others) generated by Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children, than any dental association foundation during the same period.

The HSHC board also adjusted our mission, recognizing that the Foundation now is positioned to help all children, not limiting our attention to the underserved. Yes, our emphasis remains on the underserved, however, we will explore education and collabo- ration opportunities that advance the oral health of all children.

To reach our million-child goal, the HSHC board is investing in our capacity for outreach and awareness. We know we need to do more to promote our efforts in a way that will increase awareness among our colleagues while we build bridges into the communities helped by our grantees.

We know this is ambitious, but we also know we can do it. With your help, and thanks to a growing effort to generate sup- port for Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children, from outside of the AAPD membership and beyond the dental field, we can make Kahla one of a million children helped by HSHC and our grant- ees – all thanks to you.

Dr. Ned Savide
HSHC President

Dr. Savide, AAPD Past President (2005), is a retired pediatric dentist residing in suburban Chicago.

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