CHICAGO, Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In the largest single commitment in its 33-year history, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation has allocated up to $1.6 million to provide all practicing AAPD member pediatric dentists with one 50-count box supply of KN95 masks. Understanding childhood tooth decay is among the most chronic childhood disease, the collaboration with AAPD, its Foundation and Henry Schein, Inc. reinforces a commitment to safely serve patient families with access to care during the unprecedented global pandemic.
"Oral health is integral to children's overall health and personal protection equipment [PPE] availability should not be a barrier to dental care," said AAPD President Dr. Jessica Lee. "We are grateful to Henry Schein for helping make these masks available to our members, without financial gain, and to the Foundation for underwriting this important access to care effort."
The AAPD Foundation's donation of critical PPE is an extension of its access-to-care mission. The AAPD Foundation is purchasing the KN95 masks, including paying sales tax and shipping; the AAPD is handling the ordering logistics for its members; and Henry Schein is leveraging its supply chain network to provide implementation assistance at its cost.
"As practices open across the country, the Academy and Foundation want to make sure there are as few delays as possible in children receiving the care they need," said Foundation President Dr. Charles Czerepak. "Henry Schein's quick response to offer essential supplies will help prevent disruptions in patient care that can help prevent treatable cases from turning into emergencies."
While manufacturers, suppliers and distributors face unprecedented demand, coupled with supply chain gaps worldwide, Henry Schein understood the Academy member's front-line role in providing care to our nation's children and the need to ensure this workforce's protection.
"We are privileged that the Academy and Foundation approached us for assistance in securing PPE for its membership and administering this important project," said AJ Caffentzis, President, U.S. Dental Distribution. "As part of Henry Schein's dedication to 'helping health happen,' we recognize pediatric dentists' critical public health role and welcome the opportunity to contribute towards supporting these essential providers who ensure the oral health and overall welfare of our children."
This collaboration is part of the Academy's broader effort to provide resources to ensure practice readiness and safe, comprehensive care. The Academy in April released a guide for re-opening practices, and it continues its work with local, state and federal government agencies to ensure they recognize children's oral health care as essential health care.
"Our members are valuable community child advocates who not only provide quality dental care but can help test for and prevent the future spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases," Dr. Lee said.
In addition to access to KN95 masks, the Foundation's $1.6 million commitment will help fund the development of a public education campaign emphasizing dental office safety and help raise awareness about the importance of access to oral health care for children. The campaign will feature social media, direct-to-consumer outreach, and materials for member use in their practices.
"Henry Schein was moved by the bold action of the Academy and the Foundation to help its membership in these turbulent times, and we are honored to reciprocate in support of pediatric dentists, the children they serve, and our wider communities," said Mr. Caffentzis.
"The receptiveness and enthusiasm of the Henry Schein team has been tremendous," said Academy and Foundation CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas. "They went the extra mile to help us ensure dentists treating kids will have KN95 masks available to them as they re-open their practices."
About the AAPD
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, founded in 1947, is the not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 10,800 members put children first in everything they do, and at the highest standards of ethics and patient safety. Pediatric dentists provide care to millions of our nation's infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs, and are the primary contributors to professional education programs and publications on pediatric oral health.
The AAPD, in accordance with its vision and mission, advocates optimal oral health for all children. It is the leading national advocate dedicated exclusively to children's oral health. www.aapd.org
About the AAPD Foundation
The AAPD Foundation is the charitable arm of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the nation's leading association of dental specialists committed to optimal oral health for all children. The Foundation supports community-based initiatives providing Dental Homes to children from families that cannot afford dental care. Since 2010, we have issued more than $6 million in grants and commitments to more than 120 organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Foundation grantees have helped provide Dental Homes to more than 550,000 children. www.aapdfoundation.org
About Henry Schein
Henry Schein, Inc. is a solutions company for health care professionals powered by a network of people and technology. With more than 19,000 Team Schein Members worldwide, the Company's network of trusted advisors provides more than 1 million customers globally with more than 300 valued solutions that improve operational success and clinical outcomes. Our Business, Clinical, Technology, and Supply Chain solutions help office-based dental and medical practitioners work more efficiently so they can provide quality care more effectively. These solutions also support dental laboratories, government and institutional healthcare clinics, as well as other alternate care sites.
SOURCE American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry