Kaiser Permanente has donated $10,000 toward next month's CDA Cares San Jose dental clinic.
Kaiser officials said one of the main reasons the donation to the May 18-19 clinic at the San Jose Convention Center was made is because the state’s cuts to Denti-Cal have had a ripple effect.
“With the cuts to Denti-Cal, Kaiser Permanente South Bay recognizes that it is extremely hard for low-income families to afford a visit to the dentist,” said Todd Dray, assistant physician in chief for Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara. “A clinic, such as CDA Cares, provides great value by helping families get the dental treatment they need.”
CDA Cares was created by the CDA Foundation and CDA to provide free dental services and oral health education to Californians who experience barriers to care. It is also intended to raise awareness with the public about the importance of good oral health and with policymakers about the need for a state dental director and infrastructure to reinstate an adequately funded safety net and develop policies to improve the oral health of Californians. State budget cuts eliminated virtually all adult Denti-Cal benefits in 2009, impacting more than 3 million poor, disabled and elderly Californians.
“Lack of dental care is one of the most common unmet health needs in our society,” said Cal Gordon, assistant physician in chief for Kaiser Permanente San Jose. “Kaiser Permanente South Bay is supporting the CDA Cares event in San Jose to help prevent and alleviate suffering due to lack of dental care. Kaiser Permanente knows that good oral health is important to a person’s overall health.”
Because oral health is directly related to a person’s overall health, education is a key component of CDA Cares. All of the patients at CDA Cares clinics receive oral health education before, during and after treatment, with the hope that they gain a better understanding of how to improve their oral health and the oral health of their children. Statistics show that the need for oral health education is higher than ever. Dental decay is five times more common than asthma; and, according to recent research by the Ad Council, 60 percent of parents with children ages 12 or younger report that they do not regularly help their children brush their teeth or check to make sure they’ve done a good job.
“Statistics show a tremendous need for dental care; partnering with Kaiser Permanente is a win for both organizations. CDA Cares relieves pain and infection and provides education on how to prevent dental disease which can result in fewer people using the hospital emergency room for dental care.” said Don Rollofson, DMD, chair of the CDA Foundation. “In addition, dental disease has been linked to systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Partners like Kaiser Permanente are crucial to helping us increase the health and well-being of the underserved.”
Educating and helping those who experience barriers to care will be the main focus of the dental professionals and other volunteers at CDA Cares San Jose, and this is another reason Kaiser Permanente wanted to partner with CDA and the CDA Foundation, said Joanne Seavey-Hultquist, Kaiser South Bay community benefit manager.
“Kaiser Permanente South Bay is excited to partner with the California Dental Association Foundation and is pleased to donate $10,000 to support CDA Cares because we believe all families should have access to dental care,” Seavey-Hultquist said.
Last year, the CDA Foundation and CDA hosted two clinics that provided $2.8 million in dental care to 3,676 patients thanks to the generosity of volunteers and sponsors. Ken Wallis, DDS, chair of CDA Cares San Jose, says he expects a similar impact at the San Jose clinic. Dozens of legislators and local elected officials attended in 2012 and experienced the volunteer spirit of dentistry and need for dental care in their constituencies.
For more information and to register to volunteer, visit cdafoundation.org/cdacares.