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
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
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
Dentists countered that Medicaid reimbursement rates for their services
fell way short of market value, prompting many dentists to say no to the
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
"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 .
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SOURCE American Dental Hygienists' Association