17:29 PM

Massachusetts’ 2010 Oral Health Heroes

Each February, the DentaQuest Foundation is pleased to join the Massachusetts Legislative Oral Health Caucus, Health Care for All, and other key partners at the Massachusetts State House in a special recognition event. The Oral Health Heroes Ceremony highlights the “Watch Your Mouth” oral health awareness campaign in Massachusetts, and celebrates Oral Health Heroes in the Commonwealth. This year marks our 5th Annual Oral Health Heroes celebration. As Master of Ceremonies, I had the honor of recognizing several individuals in the Massachusetts state legislature and in our communities for outstanding leadership in improving the oral health of Massachusetts’ residents.

This year’s legislative honorees are Senator Steven Panagiotakos and Representative Ellen Story. Senator Panagiotakos, while serving in a leadership role as Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, was instrumental in preserving dental benefits for adults on MassHealth (Medicaid) in the FY2010 budget. Representative Story has consistently stood up for oral health, signing on to many oral health bills and testifying at many hearings at the State House – all to promote oral health.

We also honored Hugh Silk, M.D., and Herlivi Linares, D.D.S. two members of our medical and dental community for their significant leadership in oral health. Dr. Silk is a family physician at Hahnemann Family Health Center in Worcester. He has been a longtime advocate for addressing oral health during well child visits, and has worked to include oral health in the education of residents.

Dr. Herlivi Linares, Associate Dental Director of Lynn Community Health Center’s Dental Services, provides crucial oral health services to her community which includes many low-income adults covered by Medicaid or the Commonwealth Care subsidized program.

Congratulations to all the 2010 Massachusetts Oral Health Heroes. I look forward to our continued work together as a community to bring Massachusetts residents greater access to oral health services and set an example for other states.

Blog post by Ralph Fuccillo, President, DentaQuest Foundation.