Striving to fill a critical need

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February 2011 | Dental Products ReportStriving to fill a critical need   DTA Foundation improves access to care for millions each year.Compiled by S

February 2011 | Dental Products Report

Striving to fill a critical need


DTA Foundation improves access to care for millions each year.

Compiled by Stan Goff

Information provided by the DTA Foundation.


DPR asked me to talk a little about the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation (DTAF) and explain some of its past accomplishments along with its current goals. The DTAF was created in 2001 to improve access to, and productivity of, the oral health care system by identifying, nurturing and leveraging promising projects. It is the Foundation’s vision to be the premier foundation in oral health care by attracting and supporting innovative initiatives that directly improve access to care for millions of North Americans annually.

The beginning
As a result of the former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher’s report in 2000, the dental community was shocked to learn that the number of children and adults lacking dental insurance is twice the number of those without medical insurance. The report identified profound disparities in access and effectively issued a challenge to the dental community, and our community responded.

Before the year 2000 was out, the Dental Trade Alliance had convened a membership roundtable to focus on key issues related to the disparity in oral care. It also created a membership organization, the Oral Care Access Committee, to pursue research and other initiatives designed to remove obstacles to oral care access.

In 2002, this committee teamed with the Santa Fe Group, a nonprofit public health advocacy organization, by providing strategic direction and seed money (courtesy of our Founding Donors) to start the Oral Care Access Scholars Program. This program supported 10 research and service-oriented projects, dealing with such issues as dental office productivity, acceptance of new technologies and culturally sensitive public education regarding oral care.

The DTA Foundation was created to build upon these programs and seek new and innovative initiatives pursuant to the expansion of oral care access.

Since 2006, the DTA Foundation’s strategy has been to collaborate with four key industry organizations: the American Dental Association, the American Dental Hygienists Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as well as with the Santa Fe Group and the Dental Lifeline Network (formerly known as National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped).

“The collaboration between the Santa Fe Group and the DTAF is truly making a difference in improving the access to oral care in the United States,”
said Dr. Dom DePaola, President, Santa Fe Group and Academic Dean, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine.

2010 Accomplishments


• Promising Practices Symposiums for Give Kids a Smile

The fourth in a series of annual Promising Practices Symposiums for Give Kids a Smile took place at the headquarters of the American Dental Association on July 22-23, 2010. This year’s theme was Raising the Momentum Through Continuity of Care: Finding Dental Homes for America’s Children. Each of these Symposiums have been made possible through a grant from the DTAF. Volunteers from the Foundation have moderated each of the events.

• In 2010, the DTAF provided a total of $100,000 in funding to the following innovative and very deserving organizations that are promoting oral health care:

California Dental Association Foundation-A Virtual Dental Home pilot program is targeted to improve the oral health of poor and low-income children by enabling teledentistry technology to diagnose needs remotely and guide a dental hygienist in providing immediate and appropriate care on-site at a Head Start program and at an elementary school.

Kids Smiles-The DTAF grant helped establish the Wider Smiles initiative to bring oral health education, screening, and preventive care to at-risk children in Washington, D.C. Based on a successful Philadelphia prototype, the project engages public and private partners in the community and the region.

The Forsyth Institute-The DTAF funds support complete replication of the ForsythKids project in Colorado and New Hampshire. ForsythKids is an evidence-based comprehensive prevention program for at-risk elementary school children.

The Commonwealth Medical College-This project establishes an educational intervention to incorporate oral health knowledge into medical school curriculum. This program also will provide basic preventive dental care training to medical students and primary providers, specifically application of fluoride varnishes in the primary care setting.

University of Kentucky College of Dentistry-This project trains a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to provide daily oral hygiene for nursing home residents and to make appropriate referrals to a dentist when necessary. An online curriculum will be developed from this training program that could be used by nursing homes nationwide to train their own CNA to become their facilities’ oral health specialist.

2010 Donations
In 2010, the Foundation is proud to announce that they received more than $800,000 in pledges and individual donations. It is this kind of ongoing support that allows the Foundation to continue to fund the programs and projects that support access to oral health care.

A look ahead
The DTAF has several exciting projects planned for the new year, including the following programs:

• Student Scholarships: In addition to the Foundation’s ongoing focus on providing funding to innovative projects, the Foundation will be initiating a new student scholarship program thanks to funding from the Robert J. Sullivan Family Foundation.

• Dental ReServe™ : Another major new program in 2011 is the development of a Web-based share site known as Dental ReServe™. Dental ReServe™ is designed to help companies donate equipment and supplies to non-profit organizations that provide free dental care to those in need. This program is projected to be available for DTA member use by Spring 2011.

If you have products that could be used by organizations that serve those in our communities who have limited access or cannot afford quality oral care, please contact the DTAF at To support the DTA Foundation by making a donation, go to

About the Exec. DIr.
The DTAF is pleased to introduce its new Executive Director, Laura Fleming Doyle. Laura is originally from Charlotte, N.C. She moved to the DC area to attend George Washington University where she received her Masters in Health Services Administration. Laura is an experienced health care association/foundation executive whose 25+ years of experience includes fundraising and donor cultivation, financial administration and budget development, strategic planning and organization development, board relations, e-commerce, policy development, online and print communications, conferences, and more.


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