April 9, 2010
Rep. Jim Riesberg, chair of the House Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee, asked the CDA’s help in organizing a presentation on the low cost and charitable dental options that are currently available to Coloradans. On Thursday, April 8, the CDA – along with select dental charities – met with the House HHS Committee to provide information and resources on the topic.
CDA Executive Director Jim Young shared about the contributions of private dentists – from pro bono care provided without formal recognition to organized programs, like COMOM and Give Kids a Smile. Jim talked about the adverse impact of aggressive insurance policies, like the practice of setting prices for non-covered services, on the ability of private dentists to offer charitable care. The CDA also shared a packet listing the various Colorado charitable care programs, along with the populations they serve and relevant contact information. Please contact the CDA at 303-740-6900 or 800-343-3010 if you are aware of low-cost and charitable dental centers that are missing from our list.
The CDA also invited several charitable care groups to join us for the presentation. Dr. Major Tappan from Total Oral Prevention Strategies (TOPS) shared about their unique approach to dentistry for children, and the importance of preventative care. Ernest Duff from Howard Dental Center spoke about serving the HIV/AIDS population, and shared several compelling patient stories. Dr. John McFarland from the Salud Family Health Centers shared statistics indicating the impact of Federally Qualified Health Centers in treating a large number of Colorado safety net patients.
This invitation provided a great opportunity for the CDA to educate legislators about the positive contributions that dentists make in their communities. This kind of positive exposure highlights the proactive role of dentists in addressing the access-to-care problem and increases the credibility of the profession. The CDA appreciates the chance to talk with legislators about this important topic and will continue to pursue opportunities to highlight the positive contributions of the profession.