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The Washington, DC, chapter of AO was honored for their participation in the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program
Henry Schein, Inc. joined the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity (AO) in honoring AO’s Washington, DC, chapter for its participation in the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program, a program that provides free dental care to Holocaust survivors in need.
The Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program was launched in November 2014 in response to the White House’s call to action to help Holocaust survivors age with dignity and respect. To date, more than 500 economically vulnerable Holocaust survivors have received treatment through the program across North America.
“The oral health professionals being honored embody the spirit of generosity and kindness that serve as Alpha Omega’s guiding principles,” said Washington, DC, chapter Ambassador Dr. Ben Williamowsky.
“Without their selfless volunteerism, local Holocaust survivors would not get the treatment they need. We thank them for their work and for setting an example for all of us.” The participating dentists were honored at a recent reception held at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland, where the office of Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., presented Dr. Williamowsky with a Congressional Citation.
“The Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program’s impact can be measured in the restored function and smiles of the many people who have been treated thus far,” said Steven W. Kess, Vice President, Global Professional Relations, Henry Schein and the program’s co-chair. “These patients have lived through the unimaginable and survived incredible trauma, and we at Henry Schein thank Alpha Omega’s Washington, DC, chapter for contributing so greatly to this program’s success.”
The program provides care to people identified by the network of Jewish Family and Children’s Service agencies or other identified partner organizations, as well as people of any faith who were victims of Nazi persecution and meet the program’s other eligibility requirements. In addition to financial need, patient participation is prioritized by three critical factors: the elimination of pain, restoration of function, and lack of dental coverage. Participating clinicians determine each patient’s scope of care.
The program fills a critical need for many of the 120,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S., one quarter of whom live in poverty. Survivors often have special oral health needs, as many suffered from prolonged nutritional deprivation and had little to no dental care access as children during World War II. The program operates in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Detroit; Los Angeles; New York City; the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area; Philadelphia; Phoenix; San Francisco; Seattle; the greater Washington, DC, area; and West Hartford, Connecticut in the U.S., and Calgary, Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg in Canada.
“Alpha Omega’s Washington, DC, chapter has shown that kindness and charity can have an incredible impact on the health and happiness of people in need,” said program Co-Chair and AO Past International President Dr. Avi Wurman, DDS. “These oral health practitioners have helped Holocaust survivors eat without pain and smile proudly, and we thank them for upholding the ideals to which Alpha Omega’s members aspire.”
PHOTO CAPTION: From left are Bernice Edelstein, Program Manager, Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program; Dr. Ben Williamowsky, Ambassador, Washington, DC, chapter of Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity; and Jason West, Field Sales Consultant, Henry Schein, Inc.