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CIGNA announces grant to support the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped

CIGNA HealthCare : 30 October, 2007  (New Product)
To increase access to dental care disabled populations, CIGNA is joining forces with the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped (NFDH), a charitable affiliate of the American Dental Association (ADA).
Through a $20,000 grant provided by the CIGNA Foundation, the NFDH will enhance recruiting for its Donated Dental Services programme which has a goal to return patients to good oral health.

“We are proud to support an organization that shares our goals of improving oral health and assisting individuals with disabilities,” said Karen S.Rohan, president of CIGNA Group Insurance and CIGNA Dental, and member of the CIGNA Foundation board.

“Our organizations have a shared emphasis on prevention and wellness, which recognizes that good oral health is an important part of good overall health.”

NFDH’s mission is to arrange comprehensive dental treatment and long-term preventive services for needy disabled, elderly or medically compromised individuals through a national network of direct service programmes. In addition to the grant, CIGNA Dental will work to raise awareness of NFDH and promote participation in the Donated Dental Services program among its network of participating dentists.

“Preventive dental care is essential for everyone as poor oral health can potentially impact an individual’s quality of life and ability to be productive at work, home or play. In fact, employed adults lose more than 164 millions hours of work each year due to dental disease or dental visits,” said Miles Hall, DDS, chief clinical officer for CIGNA Dental.

“For people with physical and medical disabilities, even the simplest task such as flossing, can be a challenge. And, some conditions require prescription drugs that can cause a dry mouth and increase the chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth.”

NFDH has more than 12,500 volunteer dentists and 2,600 volunteer laboratories that help needy disabled, elderly, and medically-compromised individuals through its Donated Dental Services programme. The NFDH has additional programmes designed to bring dental care to individuals who cannot easily travel to the dentist office, and also raise awareness of the importance of practicing good oral hygiene by traveling to schools and group homes. For every $1 spent, NFDH provides $15 worth of care.

“We are pleased to have support from CIGNA for this important cause,” said Larry Coffee, DDS, president and chief executive officer for the NFDH. “As a result, we will be better able to reach a broader base of individuals through the continued expansion of our Donated Dental Services programme.”
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