Henry Schein, Inc. joined the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity’s Seattle chapter in recognizing 25 Seattle area oral health professionals for their participation in a program that provides free dental care to Holocaust survivors in need.

By: JNi.Media

Henry Schein, Inc., the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, joined the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity’s (AO) Seattle chapter in recognizing 25 Seattle area oral health professionals for their participation in a program that provides free dental care to Holocaust survivors in need.

The Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program was launched last November in response to the White House’s call to action to help Holocaust survivors age with dignity and respect. To date, the program has provided oral care to more than 130 economically vulnerable Holocaust survivors across North America. In Seattle, dental practitioners have treated eight survivors and are currently treating six more.

The participating dentists were honored Monday, November 2 at a reception held at Seattle’s Holocaust Center for Humanity. Seattle Mayor Edward B. Murray issued a proclamation declaring November 2, 2015 “Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity Day.”

“Henry Schein proudly joins the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity in recognizing these practitioners for their generosity and commitment to helping health happen for this most deserving population,” said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc. “Holocaust survivors have lived through unspeakable trauma and overcome incredible challenges, and it is incumbent upon the private and public sectors to ensure that this population never wants for access to essential health services.”

The three-year initiative provides care to people identified by the network of Jewish Family and Children’s Service agencies or other identified partner organizations, as well as people of any faith who were victims of Nazi persecution and meet the program’s other eligibility requirements. In addition to financial need, patient participation is prioritized by three critical factors: the elimination of pain, restoration of function, and lack of dental coverage. Participating clinicians determine each patient’s scope of care.

“We have a good group of volunteer dentists in Seattle who have been very active in treating Holocaust survivors, at no cost,” said AO Seattle chapter Ambassador Dr. Kal Klass. “These dentists volunteer strictly out of the goodness of their hearts, for no recognition. And most importantly, they enjoy doing it.”

Honored at the event were: Dr. Kal Klass, Dr. Yonatan Ahdut, Dr. Paul Amato, Dr. Rebecca Bockow, Dr. Bobby Cohanim, Dr. Irving Cohen, Dr. Gary Feldman, Dr. Robert Gelb, Dr. David Isenberg, Dr. Jeff Janison, Dr.Jeff Kanter, Dr. Wally Kegel, Dr. Paul Lederman, Dr. Warren Libman, Dr. Bella Makagon, Dr. Matthew Mandel, Dr. Donna Massoth, Dr. Arnold Reich, Dr. Oleg Shvartsur, Dr. Alexander Shor, Dr. Michael Spektor, Dr. Wendy Shultz Spektor, Dr. Daniel Tremblay, Dr. Marilyn Weiss, and Dr. Jake Weissman.

This program fills a critical need for many of the 120,000 Holocaust survivors living in the US, one quarter of whom live in poverty. Survivors often have special oral health needs, as many suffered from prolonged nutritional deprivation and had little to no dental care access as children during World War II. Originally launched in nine cities—New York City, the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal, and Toronto—the program has since expanded to Atlanta, Columbus, and Calgary.

“On behalf of the Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity family around the globe, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and profound sense of pride to our Seattle members who have demonstrated the highest degree of ‘tikun olam’—healing the world—by providing Holocaust Survivors with pro bono oral health care and treatment,” said program Co-Chair and AO Immediate Past International President Dr. Avi Wurman, DDS. “Our Seattle dentists have exemplified the Alpha Omega ideals in a most meaningful way.”

The program has received generous financial support from The Claire Friedlander Family Foundation and the Curt C. & Else Silberman Foundation. Additional support has been provided by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Bedford Health Care Solutions, The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc., and the Wagner Family Foundation.