WSDA President Dr. Christopher Delecki encourages members to get involved with Dental Lifeline Network's Donated Dental Services Program.
With the passing of Memorial Day this week, we are reminded of the great sacrifices many have made in defense of our Country. Many veterans returned to their country from combat with their life intact but now struggle with several health issues. Congress defines eligibility for veteran dental care through statute. The VA is authorized to provide dental services in accordance with the provisions of existing law and regulations, which do not support dental services to all veterans at this time. Thus, many veterans are in need of dental care.
What the general public doesn't understand about our profession is a lot. They don't know, for example, that many of us quietly provide pro bono work in our private offices. One population that struggles with access in our communities is the disabled population, including veterans.
As president of the WSDA, I encourage you to treat one disabled patient at a time through the Dental Lifeline Network's Donated Dental Services Program (DLN/DDS). The DLN is a national humanitarian dental organization that has provided access to dental care for vulnerable individuals since 1975. DLN is a strategic partner of the ADA. You can find out more about DLN here.
As a volunteer, dentists receive information about a single pre-screened patient directly from DLN, so the dentist's name is not on a list available to the public and as such they do not receive calls from patients. The dentist can then decide whether or not that patient is a good fit for their practice at that time. Labs and specialists are also part of the volunteer network.
You can complete DLN's online application, which takes just a few minutes, here. Your staff can easily complete this for you.
A number of counties in the state are in need of volunteer dentists:
I know you already volunteer so much of your time, and you probably do a lot of pro bono work in your office as well. I want to thank you for considering this important volunteering opportunity to treat the disabled in your community!
Here’s hoping you have a great summer!
- Dr. Christopher Delecki, WSDA President