By Gary Goldstein DDS, MBA, MA
Director, Dental Program
EmblemHealth Family Dental Practice
EmblemHealth is proud to support optimal health programs, and our dental department makes every effort to assure that achieving positive outcomes in oral health is a part of that effort.
Through our partnerships with various New York State organizations, we work to improve oral health care in all the populations we serve by taking active roles in initiatives involving disease prevention, oral health literacy, special needs dentistry and promotion of quality of care.
Serving on the New York State Dental Association Task Force on Public Health Dentistry & Access, provides me the opportunity to makes policy recommendations on public health initiatives, as well as develop strategies to improve access to quality care for seniors and people with special needs.
Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities face serious behavioral issues when visiting a medical doctor or dentist. Working with the Subcommittee on Health of the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Advisory Council helps me, along with my peers, advocate and raise awareness for special needs dentistry.
Collectively, the EmblemHealth Family Dental Practice always welcomes the opportunity for community involvement where we can help educate the public about the importance of oral health and make a positive impact on special needs patients’ lives.
In fact, EmblemHealth Family Dental Practice took a leadership role helping organize a Special Olympics Special Smiles event at the New York State Special Olympics State Winter Games Floor Hockey competition by recruiting volunteers and training professionals on how to perform dental screenings. In addition, Dr. Shigeru Hosoyama, an EmblemHealth Family Dentist, led one of several teams that performed screenings, provided dental education materials and distributed supplies to more than 400 special athletes.
Regardless of audience, it’s important to make everyone aware that poor oral health may increase the risk of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke and preterm labor, and draw attention to the link between oral health and total health and well-being.
EmblemHealth supports positive outcomes not only by promoting dental services, but educating that prevention of dental disease is important in order for our members and their families to maintain good health.