Page 7 - LDA_Fall_Journal-FLIP






Page 7 - LDA_Fall_Journal-FLIP
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Donated Dental Services of

                                                       Louisiana Is In DESPERATE

                                                       Need of Your Financial Support

                                                       Will you donate $100 and help us help your neighbor in need?

                                                            ental Lifeline Network • Louisiana has   The Dilemma:
                                                       Doperated the Donated Dental Services
                                                       (DDS) program in partnership with the     lots of very sick
            When Gloria was just 37                     Louisiana Dental Association since its
          years old, she survived                          inception in 1987. The program helps   patients, lots of
          two strokes that left her                          people with disabilities, the elderly or
          paralyzed on her left                               medically fragile get access to dental   volunteer dentists
          side. She worked for                                 care, who can’t afford it, through a
          Volunteers of America                                network of volunteer dentists and   wanting to see
          but was forced to                                    labs. Together, 345 Louisiana dentists  them, and no
          resign because of                                    and 73 labs have provided care to
          her post-stroke side                                more than 5,000 people in Louisiana;   way to get them
          effects. Her oral health                           care valued at more than $10 million!
          suffered a great deal                             The program is now in desperate need   together!
          and she had no means to                        of your financial support.
          pay for treatment. Thanks to                    DLN•LA received state funding for the program beginning in 1991 and
          long-time LDA member and DDS                 received appropriations almost every year until 2009, when it was cut.
          volunteer, Dr. Walker P. McVea, and volunteer   Since then, DLN•LA has relied on private funding to operate the program.
          Blue Box Dental Lab, Gloria was given the    Repeated natural disasters throughout the state has caused private grant
          chance to smile again. “They did a wonderful   funding to be redirected to help flood and hurricane stricken areas, and has
          job, everybody complimented me on the        drastically reduced funding previously directed to DDS.
          dentist’s work. I can smile confidently. No     As a result, DLN has gradually been forced to reduce the number of
          pain,” Gloria said.                          hours Rebekah, the Louisiana DDS coordinator, spends helping patients.
            More people like Gloria are in need of     Our coordinator is the heart of the program. She vets the applications and
          dental care in Louisiana. But, we are frozen in   matches the patient with the dentist who can help; shepherding them
          place. Additional funding for the DDS program   through treatment, start to finish. Formerly utilized 40 hours a week,
          will allow us to increase Rebekah’s hours and   Rebekah worked only 16 hours a week last year, and this year we are down
          coordinate care for more neighbors-in-need.   to only 8 hours a week managing cases - for the entire state of Louisiana!
          WE HAVE THE VOLUNTEERS, WE JUST NEED            Because of the decreased hours, more than 200 individuals are
          THE COORDINATION. Your action will benefit   waiting for dental care through DDS, and no new applicants can
          these patients, you, dentistry, your community,   be accepted until the backlog is substantially reduced. Although
          and our State. Will you consider donating    345 dentists are willing to help, more funding is needed to increase
          to the DDS program? If each LDA member       Rebekah’s hours and provide the case management needed to
          contributed $100, we could start reducing the   coordinate the care for these patients. The Dilemma: lots of very sick
          backlog of people like Gloria who need our   patients, lots of volunteer dentists wanting to see them, and no
          help. “To give a new smile to someone who is   way to get them together!
          truly in need, and in pain, is very satisfying. It
          helps change people’s lives,” added Dr. McVea.
                                                       Donations can be made to DLN in the upcoming LDA dues
                                                       statement or online at

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