Sponsors make 'powerful' pledges to CDA Cares

More than 20,000 people to date have benefited from $16.4 million in dental services provided by CDA Cares, thanks to the support of community members like Henry Schein, Western Dental, San Mateo County and TDIC, the key sponsors of the CDA Foundation’s next Cares event set for April 22-23 at the San Mateo Event Center located on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Western Dental — serving the underserved for nearly a century

“Powerful” is the word Jeff Miller uses to describe the impact CDA Cares has on patients, volunteers, sponsors and the communities it serves. As senior vice president and general counsel for Western Dental, Miller began working with CDA Cares in 2014, when he also volunteered at his first event. “It was just so powerful; I got to volunteer as a patient escort,” he said. “It was so moving, not just because so many people were volunteering, but also because it was transformative for many of these people who had come to get care.”

He says Western Dental’s mission to “provide access to affordable, high-quality care” aligns with CDA Cares’ goals of impacting lives, restoring dignity and creating smiles.

“Western Dental has an almost century-long history of serving the underserved in our now 160 offices located throughout California,” Miller said. “We are members of those communities, and we feel it’s important to give back.”

As the largest Denti-Cal provider in the state, Western Dental understands the challenges patients face in finding access to care. Chief Dental Officer John Luther, DDS, says that although Denti-Cal is supposed to act as a safety net for low-income Californians, the program remains chronically underfunded, leaving many without care.

“For those who still struggle to find care, CDA Cares can be an invaluable way to get care to those in need,” Luther said.

In addition to Western Dental’s $50,000 pledge of support for CDA Cares San Mateo, it will also contribute to the volunteer workforce. Some of Western’s volunteering dentists bring members of their teams, including dental assistants and support staff, to help at CDA Cares. Western Dental has sponsored six CDA Cares events and they are looking forward to San Mateo.

Henry Schein Cares — ‘doing well by doing good’

Supporting CDA Cares aligns with the objectives of Henry Schein Cares, the global corporate social responsibility program of Henry Schein Dental. Glenn Showgren, California zone general manager, says the company has pursued the ideal of “doing well by doing good” for more than 85 years. 

“Henry Schein founded Henry Schein Dental in 1932 based on the belief that we can fulfill our responsibilities as a corporate citizen by giving back to the industries and communities we serve,” he said. “This spirit of corporate citizenship is exemplified through Henry Schein Cares.”

As part of this program, their goal is to "help health happen" for society as a whole. To achieve this goal, Henry Schein connects more than 3,000 supplier partners to more than one million health care providers who care for approximately one billion patients in more than 190 countries.

“Our products and services are integral to helping individual dental, animal health and medical practitioners not only improve the health and well-being of their patients, but also collectively address some of the world's most pressing health care issues,” Showgren said.

Along with Henry Schein’s $50,000 pledge of support for CDA Cares San Mateo, “Team Schein” members will donate their time at the event filling roles such as patient escorting, dental assisting and equipment service.

Supporting CDA Cares a part of San Mateo County’s oral health plan

The County of San Mateo has also pledged $50,000 in support of the CDA Cares event taking place in its namesake city. County Supervisor Dave Pine says sponsoring CDA Cares is a significant part of the county’s comprehensive Oral Health Strategic Plan, which was launched after a health needs assessment of its residents was conducted in 2013. The assessment found that access to dental health services was among the lowest of all types of access to health care-related services.

“All involved keenly understood that poor dental health can be an indicator of poor overall health and chronic issues can present major obstacles to not only quality of life, but even employment or the ability of kids to perform well in school,” Pine said.

The Oral Health Strategic Plan addresses unmet needs and builds permanent capacity for access to care in order to fundamentally improve dental health among the county’s underserved residents by the year 2020.

“Oral health care is a critical component of general health and CDA Cares is a valuable partner in our shared efforts to improve the health of our residents and ensure that those with limited access to regular care have opportunities to address both chronic and acute needs,” Pine said. “San Mateo County is grateful to join with CDA Cares to further our mutually shared goals of improving oral health for all San Mateo County residents.” Volunteers from the county will also serve at the event.

Key sponsor TDIC, the insurance company created by CDA for member dentists that provides professional liability workers’ compensation and other insurance products and services, has supported the CDA Cares program since its inception.

Since 2012, CDA Cares has provided $16.4 million in care to more than 20,000 people thanks to the generosity of nearly 17,000 volunteers. CDA Cares provides fillings, extractions, cleanings, limited dentures, anterior root canals, oral health education and resources for dental care in the community. In addition to providing care to approximately 2,000 people at each event, CDA Cares educates the public and policymakers about the importance of oral health and the need for an adequately funded dental safety net, including a Denti-Cal program that works. 

Learn more about CDA Cares events.

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Students’ oral health is receiving a big push in Los Angeles schools. The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education in January unanimously approved a resolution that seeks to enforce AB 1433, known as the Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement, by recognizing February as Children’s Dental Health Month, among other actions.

“One of the things that I love about being a dentist is working in a profession filled with compassionate and caring people,” Carliza Marcos, DDS, says. “This spring, we will have a unique opportunity to express our commitment to helping those less fortunate in our community.” Marcos is chair of the San Mateo CDA Cares Local Arrangements Committee. CDA Cares will be held April 22-23 in San Mateo.