Programme provides free dental care to holocaust survivors in need
Henry Schein, Inc. announced that the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Programme has received The Blue Card’s Max L. Heine Humanitarian Award. The Blue Card is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) organisation that provides direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors living in theUS.
Stanley M. Bergman, Henry Schein’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, joined Dr. Avi Wurman, Co-Chair of the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Programme and Immediate Past International President, Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, to accept the award at The Blue Card’s Annual Benefit Dinner held on November 16 at the New York Public Library.
Vice President Joe Biden issued a special video message congratulating the programme for this honour, stating, “Most critically, we issued a call for innovative public-private partnerships to fill in the gaps where survivors have unmet needs, and that’s where Henry Schein and Alpha Omega stepped up. Together, you brought the resources of a major company and the skills of more than 200 dentists to provide services in major urban areas across the US. This obviously makes a difference. It makes lives better in tangible ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing us to live up to our moral obligation.”
The Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Programme was honoured alongside Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, who received The Richard C. Holbrooke Award for Social Justice; Sara Wolfensohn, Executive Director of the Wolfensohn Family Foundation, who received The Irene Hizme Tikkun Olam Award; and Rachel Rosenberg, 2014-2015 AmeriCorps VISTA Community Liaison, who received The Blue Card Young Leadership Award. The event also featured a presentation about the French community of Le Chambon-Sur-Lignon, which rescued Jewish children escaping Nazi persecution.
The Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Programme 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 programme has provided free oral care to more than 140 economically vulnerable Holocaust survivors in 12 cities across North America.
“We are humbled that the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Programme has received this prestigious award, and we thank The Blue Card not just for this recognition, but for all they do to help this remarkable group of people,” Mr. Bergman said. “This programme could not exist without the passion and energy of all of our partners, and we are honoured to have this opportunity to collaborate across sectors to provide the very best care to a population very much in need.”
The three-year initiative provides care to people identified by the network of Jewish Family and Children’s Service agencies or other identified partner organisations, as well as people of any faith who were victims of Nazi persecution and meet the programme’s other eligibility requirements. In addition to financial need, patient participation is prioritised by three critical factors: the elimination of pain, restoration of function, and lack of dental coverage.
“We are proud to stand with Henry Schein to accept this award, and hope that this programme encourages others to see the incredible value in helping Holocaust survivors age with dignity and respect,” Dr. Wurman said. “We thank The Blue Card for this award and our programme partner, Henry Schein, for sharing Alpha Omega’s commitment to expanding access to care for vulnerable and underserved populations.”
This programme 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, New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal and Toronto – the programme has since expanded toAtlanta, Columbus and Calgary.
The programme 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 Healthcare Solutions, The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc. and the Wagner Family Foundation. In addition, Town & Country Dental Studios serves as the programme’s laboratory partner, donating dental laboratory services for designated cases.