Western Dental signs research collaboration agreement with UCSF

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Western Dental, one of the nation's leaders in accessible, affordable oral health care, announced a first-of-its-kind research collaboration agreement with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), a leading center of health sciences research, patient care, and education. Valerie J. Flaherman, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF and attending pediatrician at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, will lead the series of projects on behalf of UCSF.

"We actively support oral health care for all children, but especially for children in under-served communities," said Louis J. Amendola, DDS, Western Dental's Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs. "In collaboration with Dr. Flaherman and UCSF, we look forward to advancing the standards of care to eliminate disparities that impact oral health in our vulnerable population."

The research projects will study the need to improve access to oral health and seek to define optimal preventive strategies for at-risk children in California and nationwide. The scope of the project is expected to support changes in the delivery of preventive services and to also support changes in funding and reimbursement to incentivize the delivery of preventive care.

"As a practicing pediatrician, I am troubled by the extent of tooth decay among California's children," said Dr. Flaherman. "Decay is especially prevalent among children from lower-income families, but there is little research to inform us how preventive interventions can address this problem most effectively. Working with Western Dental, we hope to determine how these interventions may be structured to improve overall oral health in children."

Western Dental's commitment to improve oral health care goes beyond improvement for just their patients, but for all dental patients. With the large number of patients seen annually, Western Dental, through its outreach efforts, provides dental services and oral health education to members of their communities who are most at risk for dental disease. 

The research announced today will be the first of ongoing programs undertaken by Western Dental's new Office of Oral Health Care Research, led by Dr. Amendola. "For more than 60 years, Western Dental has been at the forefront of clinical practice standards," said Ronald E. Inge, DDS, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental. "Our progressive quality care service model is enhanced by our commitment to research and identifying insights that benefit the health of our patients."


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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