09:19 AM

Why I Believe Everyone Deserves a Fair Shot


Early in my career, I came to work as General Counsel for a company that would become DentaQuest.

Not long after, a state Medicaid director invited me to volunteer at a Missions of Mercy event in Appalachia – a charity event that offered free dental and other care to people in the community who didn’t have access. We were starting very early, so I got there before dawn. But I wasn’t the first one, not by a long shot. Hundreds of people were already lined up in the parking lot, waiting.

I’ll never forget that day because I saw very clearly what was possible – in a matter of hours, thousands of people would receive much needed care. At the same time, I also knew that so many more were being left behind – not only in Appalachia, but in Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston, all across our country.

Even though dental disease is nearly 100% preventable, our oral health system is failing millions. And even though you cannot be truly healthy without a healthy mouth, oral health is siloed from our general health care environment.

DentaQuest is working to change that – because everyone deserves to be healthy. Today we serve more than 27 million people across 30 states. We have invested more than $200 million to transform the oral health system. We are committed to oral health for all – regardless of age, race, income, or where you live – because we know that oral health is the key to overall health and wellbeing.

It’s a simple idea: stop problems before they start, achieve better outcomes at a lower cost, make oral health more affordable and accessible, change policies to support prevention. We call it Preventistry.

Though simple, it requires big changes. What we’re really talking about is changing the systems of care, which is what we are made for at DentaQuest.

What does that mean? Well, we know that value-based care is the future. Yet to be successful, we need to focus on improved outcomes not only for individuals but also our society. We must think more broadly about care and expand it beyond the dental office – to schools, at home, and in our communities. We need to reimagine the patient experience as a consumer experience, and make it more compassionate, technologically advanced, digitally empowered. We must reimagine our approach from a policy standpoint to improve the way care is delivered, funded, measured, and integrated.

This requires all of us to be all-in. Here’s how I think about it: my job is not to run a company. My job is not to be an executive. My job is to make a difference. That’s the job of every employee at DentaQuest – and it’s a job we are proud to perform. We know that better oral health means better overall health.

Together, we will make a difference in the lives of millions of people. Interested in joining us on this journey? Send me a message! Or visit dentaquest.com.

Originally published by Steve Pollock on LinkedIn