ADHA: Connecticut Lawmaker Recognized for Contributions to Oral Health Care
CHICAGO, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) recently announced Vickie Nardello, RDH, BSDH, MS, (CT-D) the winner of the 2001 Oral Health Service Award presented to a state or Congressional lawmaker who has made a lasting contribution to oral health care. Nardello is a four-term member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and a public health dental hygienist. Widely regarded as an expert on Connecticut's health care system, Nardello chairs the Public Health Subcommittee of the Medicaid Managed Care Council, which advises the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) on implementation of Medicaid programs. Nardello's background in dental hygiene made her a logical choice for the Public Health Subcommittee; and when a lawsuit was filed against DSS in 1999, Nardello's experience in dealing with the challenges of providing patient care in a public health setting was invaluable. In Carr v. Wilson-Coker, plaintiffs alleged that many low-income children who were eligible for basic dental services such as cleanings and sealants were not receiving care largely due to a lack of dentist participation in the Medicaid program. Dentists countered that Medicaid reimbursement rates for their services fell way short of market value, prompting many dentists to say no to the program. In order to reduce the burden of care on dentists, the Connecticut House led by Nardello created the Dental Advisory Council, which proposed allowing dental hygienists to provide basic preventive care in public health settings independent of dentists' supervision. This proved to be a huge success however, Nardello cautions that any long-term solution to the problem of accessing dental care will require a multi-pronged approach. "This will include increasing reimbursement fees for providers and better funding for Connecticut's community health projects," Nardello said. Her tireless work in the area of public health care and many other efforts made Nardello an easy selection for this year's Oral Health Service Award. ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of the more than 100,000 dental hygienists across the country. Dental hygienists are preventive oral health professionals, licensed in dental hygiene, who specialize in the prevention and treatment of oral diseases in order to protect total health. If you would like more information about dental hygiene, preventive oral health, or the connection between periodontal (gum) disease and life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, low-birthweight babies, or respiratory ailments, visit ADHA at www.adha.org . MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT - Click Here http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X44854239
SOURCE American Dental Hygienists' Association
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