March 2017 Volume LII Number 2
Need Doesn’t Take a Day Off
Someone asked me a couple of years ago whether I thought the mission of Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children – supporting community initiatives providing Dental Homes to children from families who cannot afford dental care – would be diminished or even made obsolete by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which includes dental care coverage for children. Not long after the ACA was implemented it became clear to me an act of Congress wasn’t going to reverse decades of non-compliance overnight.
Just as practical clinical advice goes unheeded among the well-intended parents and caregivers in our practices, the avail- ability of coverage for dental care alone will not improve the oral health of our nation’s children.
In that same vein, regardless of any changes in the Afford- able Care Act – I’m writing this during the days leading up to the inauguration – I’m confident our mission will remain relevant, perhaps even more relevant, for not just underserved children, but all children.
Thanks to the growth in our programmatic reach and our assets, along with the ongoing support from AAPD members, Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children is positioned to take on very significant challenges.
The HSHC board had some exciting discussions during its January session to plot its course for the next three years. Yes, we remain committed to supporting those providing care to the underserved.
But, how can we up the ante to make a more sustained differ- ence, first in targeted locations and then, if successful, by expand- ing on state, regional and national levels? How can we help those in private practice with tools and resources to help improve and protect the oral health of the children in their care? The options and opportunities are plenty.
HSHC is blessed by its affiliation with the AAPD. Besides benefitting from the wisdom of AAPD members in the 1980s who saw the value of establishing a charitable arm of the Acad- emy, our job is to make sure that we represent the wishes of all professionals who commit their lives to putting children’s oral health first. Besides being the primary source of financial support that fuels our mission, AAPD members also provide the expertise we rely upon to shape our priorities and identify the initiatives we ultimately support.
HSHC is on a growth trajectory and we intend to continue growing in meaningful and beneficial ways.
You’ll be learning more about our expansion efforts during the coming months so, with the promise of more to come, I hope you will continue to support us with your charitable contributions to Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children. Whether you’re a current donor, someone who hasn’t given in a while, or someone who never has given, any contribution you make will make a differ- ence in the life of a child. Please be as generous as you can.
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