I’d like to thank you for your support of the New York State Dental Foundation and to tell you about changes and new initiatives that will enhance the mission of your Foundation.
The Foundation exists for one simple reason: to improve the oral health of all New Yorkers. We accomplish this through our efforts to improve access to care, education and advocacy, and our recognition of excellence.
We are YOUR Foundation, the vehicle through which we show the public and policymakers how much good the dental profession does. I'm looking forward to growing our efforts to assist the profession in screening and education, and to helping raise awareness of the good work you are doing within your communities.
As the new chairman, I must thank and applaud Dr. Edward Downs, who has chaired and guided the Foundation since its beginning in 1980. Ed will be staying on as chairman emeritus and will continue to be a valuable resource. As we move into a new era, I want to also thank our executive director, Ms. Laura Leon, and the wonderful Board of Trustees, which has served us so well. And I’d like to welcome three new members to the Board: Dr. Robert Doherty, Dr. Brendan P. Dowd, and Dr. Terrence Thines.
So, what does the Foundation do?
----We continue to oversee and administer the NYSDA CE Registry.
----We promote Donated Dental Services.
----We are collaborating with NYSDA on the future Mission of Mercy Project
----Through our annual awards luncheon, we recognize excellence in academics, community service, corporate leadership and research.
----We honor and help fund innovative programs that provide dental care and education for the underserved, including: Faxton-St.Luke/James M Rozanski Dental Residency, the Nassau Academy of Dentistry Access to Care Program, and the Prasad Children’s Dental Health Program in Sullivan County.
---- We administer the Gold Fund, which supports dentists who volunteer to provide care to at risk pediatric patients with severe oral health conditions.
----We provide Outreach Scholarships for students or residents who volunteer overseas.
----We present a Deans Award to one student at each of the state’s dental schools and at Eastman Institute for Oral Health in Rochester in recognition of their work with innovative outreach programs. (All of this year’s students used some of the award to help with visitations and applications to specialty programs; one also helped to fund a further outreach trip to Madagascar.)
*Continued promotion of the children’s dental health certificates with a special initiative in the Eighth District, Fourth District, and other rural areas of the state.
*Collaboration with state agencies on fluoridation throughout the state including spokesman training and pilot projects.
*Support of Columbia and Buffalo’s schools of dentistry, medicine and social work, on the CARES Program.
*Partnership with the NYS Oral Health Coalition (Ms. Leon was recently elected chairman) on fluoridation and the Oral Health Certificates.
As you can see we are busy, doing all the things you should be proud of as a dentist. Surprisingly, only 37% of NYSDA members support the Foundation. We want that number to be 100% by 2020 -- it’s as simple as voluntarily checking the Foundation on your dues statement.
It is a great honor to take over the helm of the Foundation. I welcome your input, your suggestions, and your concerns.
Dr. G. Kirk Gleason