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CHICAGO, Ill., USA: In the largest single commitment in its 33-year history, the AAPD Foundation has allocated up to $1.6 million to provide all AAPD members with one 50-count box supply of KN95 masks, in a joint collaboration between the foundation and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
As part of Henry Schein Inc.’s commitment to help enhance access to care for vulnerable populations, including children, Henry Schein is providing these masks to the AAPD Foundation at its cost of acquisition and distribution.
“Personal protection equipment [PPE] availability should not be a barrier to child 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 provision of critical PPE for AAPD members 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,” 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 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.”
(Source: Henry Schein Inc.)