Delta Dental Foundation Provides Grant to CDM In Support of VETSmile Collaboration
The Delta Dental Community Care Foundation has awarded Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM) $125,000 to support its work in providing quality, affordable oral healthcare, specifically in support of CDM’s collaboration with VETSmile. This is a program of the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) Center for Care and Payment Innovation, which connects eligible veterans with community dental care providers. Approximately 85% of veterans enrolled in VHA do not have dental benefits through the VHA. CDM is partnering with VETSmile to extend the network of community dental providers and to address the lack of permanent dental homes for continuous and affordable oral healthcare for veterans by providing access to oral healthcare to the most vulnerable and hardest to reach veterans in its catchment area.
While most Veterans can pay for their own dental care, some are unable to do so because of their income or ability to access a dentist. This is where VETSmile and CDM work together, helping this group of Veterans find affordable dental care at a community-based dentist. According to the New York City Department of Veteran Services, there are over 210,000 veterans in New York City and many of these veterans have a host of oral healthcare needs that are not covered by Medicare. “The Columbia University College of Dental Medicine plays a critical role in helping Veterans in New York City access needed services through VETSmile,” said Dr. Roshni Ghosh, Executive Director for VA’s Center for Care and Payment Innovation. “The Veterans Health Administration is committed to treating a Veteran’s whole health, which includes oral health. Studies show if we don’t have healthy smiles, we’re likely also facing health challenges in other areas too. This is why we are excited to partner with CDM. They are not only helping VHA in caring for a Veterans whole health, they also find additional ways to enhance the care they provide to our Nation’s heroes.”
CDM will use the majority of the funding from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation to help fund unreimbursed care for VETSmile participants. “It is our duty and privilege to serve the veterans in our community and CDM is proud to join the VETSmile national network,” said Biana Roykh, DDS MPH, senior associate dean for clinical affairs at CDM. “The generous support from the Delta Dental Community Care Foundation is a testament of the foundation’s commitment to empower community-focused organizations, like CDM, to achieve our goal of helping people attain full potential for health and well-being.”