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Subject: Oral Health News from around Maine
April 2007
Word of Mouth
A newsletter from the Maine Dental Access Coalition
In This Issue
New Maine Foundation for Children's Dental Health
Washington County Steps Out for Children's Oral Health
Maine Dentist Gets Solidarity Award
Legislative Update
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Dear Sarah,
Welcome to Word of Mouth, the newsletter for all who care about improving the oral health of Maine's people. To ensure that you continue to receive emails from us, add to your address book today.
New Maine Foundation for Children's Dental Health
The Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation has the goal of reducingthe incidence of dental disease among Maine children through preventativeoral health care. The foundation was created by the child and grandchildren of Harry Davis, a Portland pediatrician. To honor his work the family convened medical, dental and public health leaders to explore how to address the most pressing health needs of Maine children, and children's oral health was at the top of the list.
During the first two years the $12 million Foundation will work with five community-based partners to integrate early prevention oral health care into the fabric of medical and social services for children from birth to 3 1/2.
The approach the Foundation will take is modeled
after the highly successful
Into the Mouths of
program in North Carolina.

Read on for a list of partners and more details

Washington County Steps Out for Children's Oral Health
Dr k award
Washington County residents gave their time and opened their pocketbooks at the International Food Festival and auction sponsored by Down East Health Trust.

The event raised $24,000 in one evening for dental equipment that will be part of the Down East Community Hospital's new children's dentistry program. This out pouring of support was the result of many years of collaborative work among members of the Dental Health Task Force, including the Washington County Children's Program (WCCP).
WCCP's Teresa Alley,hygienist and MDAC member, (on the right) and Pastor Betty Palmer are seen here enjoying the evening after putting in many hours as event organizers.
The Dental Health Task Force has worked hard to find ways to get treatment requiring sedation to children with dental disease and children with developmental disabilities.Untilthe dentistry program is establishedthe closest locations for sedationare Bangor, Falmouth and Portland. Even if transportation isn't a barrier for families, and it usually is, waiting lists are long, and MaineCare openings arelimited.
Dr k awardMaine Dentist Gets Solidarity Award

Dr Demitroula Kouzounas (Dr Demi on the left) was recognized for her work with low-income patients in March. Portland's mayor presented the China Poblana Solidarity Award to her as part of the Cesar Chavez/Dolores Huerta Recognition Ceremony. This is award is given to those who have advanced the promise of equality for all in the spirit of the United Migrant Farm Workers Union. Dr Kouzounas donated her services over an extended period time to a family that couldn't pay, and went on to participate in the 'Just Take One' Project, a program to encourage dentists to take on patients who can't pay in the Portland area.

The 'Just Take One' experience has taken hold at the Dunstan Dental Center. Dr. Demi and her staff didn't "Just Take one, they took TEN", and that was in April. They will probably see as many more in May. As Dr. Demi said in a letter to Sen. Bromley recently "Many of the children are in desperate need of dental care; some are in pain, cannot eat, and are frequently sick because of dental disease."

Legislative Update
Dr k award
Legislative Committee Chair Lisa Kavanagh gave testimonyon behalf of MDAC regarding:
  • LD 550, " An Act to Allow the Independent Practice of Dental Hygiene
  • LD 1246 "An Act to Improve Oral health Care for Children
  • LD 1129 " An Act to Increase Access to Oral health Care"
The testimony encouraged the committee to consider the intent of these billswithin a broader discussion among stakeholders of Maine's oral health infrastructure and service delivery which would include access, workforce development and reimbursement concerns.While MDAC's position was neither for nor against any of the specific bills, it was particularly important in this instance to encourage legislators to look at thebig picturerather than each bill as a stand alone measure.This is a hectic time of year in the capitol and Lisa did a great job representing MDAC.
The mission of the Maine Dental Access Coalition isto advocate for and improve access to quality preventative and comprehensive oral health care for all Maine residents.
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