Aetna grant promotes collaborative efforts to improve oral health

April 2, 2009
The $50,000 grant to support the National Periodontal Disease Project and Smiles Across America program.

CHICAGO, Illinois--Oral Health America is the recipient of a $50,000 grant from
Aetna in support of two of the organization's programs, the National
Periodontal Disease Project and Smiles Across America program.

NPDP collaborates with dental educators, corporations, and advocates to
increase interaction between medical and dental care providers in managing and treating periodontal (gum) disease in older Americans. Smiles Across America supports school oral health services for more than 115,000 children who generally do not have routine dental visits.

"Aetna originally got involved in the NPDP because of the company's interest in the integration of health services, including medical and dental care," said Mary Lee Conicella, DMD, National Director of Clinical Operations, Aetna Dental, and Oral Health America board member. "We are interested in groups like Oral Health America that are similarly aligned in looking at the connection between oral health and systemic health care issues,

The NPDP annual symposium invites medical and dental care professionals to discuss opportunities for collaboration. This year's event, to be held in October at the New York Academy of Sciences, will focus on periodontal disease in the geriatric population and provide a framework for how dentists and physicians can work together on patient care.

Beth Truett, Oral Health America's President and CEO, extended her thanks to Aetna for serving as generous donor and partner in this effort.

"Changing the paradigm of patient care in this country is a welcome challenge for those of us who are passionate about the issue of oral health," Truett said. "Aetna is committed to helping to make the link between a healthy mouth and a healthy body, and ensuring that patients get the care they need. We are grateful for their support and we share their vision."

"The work that Oral Health America is doing to raise awareness of the oral and systemic health connections will lead the public to ask their dentists about it," added Dr. Conicella.

To find out how you can participate, visit Oral Health America.

For more information, see Aetna.

To read more about Aetna, go to Aetna.

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