CHICAGO, February 15, 2017 - Oral Health America (OHA) has been awarded a grant from the DentaQuest Foundation. Specifically, the grant in the amount of $668,000 will provide significant support to expand the Wisdom Tooth Project® and increase efforts in Advocating for Publicly Funded Dental Coverage for older Americans.
OHA’s Wisdom Tooth Project is a national program designed to educate older adults and their caregivers, connect communities with support and resources to access care, and advocate for the oral health of all older adults, especially those most vulnerable. The DentaQuest Foundation has been pivotal in supporting OHA’s efforts in the area of older adult oral health since 2010.
“Maintaining a healthy mouth is one of the keys to independence as we age because of the vital connection to overall health and well-being,” said Beth Truett, President & CEO of Oral Health America. “Thanks to the generosity of the DentaQuest Foundation, OHA stands to gain more wide spread support for this important movement by working collaboratively on the national and state levels to bring adult dental benefits to Medicare.”
Through this grant and in partnership with the DentaQuest Foundation, OHA will lead and strengthen the oral health and aging network in order to elevate the relationship between oral and overall health among legislators, advocacy groups, and consumers.
“Now is the time for alignment and collaborative leadership in the movement to secure oral health coverage for all," said Michael Monopoli, Executive Director of the DentaQuest Foundation. "We're thrilled to continue our partnership with Oral Health America in their efforts to mobilize national, state, and community organizations to come together to make dental benefits and improved oral health available to all older adults.”
In 2017, OHA will continue to build the network and infrastructure necessary to move toward the eventual inclusion of an oral health benefit in Medicare. Efforts will focus on creating alignment among key leaders in the network; further developing three working groups – Policy & Procedure, Marketing & Communications, and Politics; and providing a way for states and grassroots organizations to become more involved in the network.