At DENTALEZ, we believe our company is more than what we manufacture. Our mission is to provide real, everyday solutions to the challenges of dentistry and that includes making quality oral healthcare accessible to all. We live out this mission in many ways, including corporate partnerships with wonderful non-profit organizations like Kids Smiles. This year, Kids Smiles celebrates 20 years as a dental health and education program with a dedicated team working tirelessly each day to break access barriers to quality dental care for thousands of children and their families. Each year, Kids Smiles serves more than 19,000 un- and under-insured children and their families by providing more than four million dollars in dental services in the Philadelphia region ― our own backyard.
In addition to product donations, DENTALEZ leadership walks the talk at Kids Smiles. Our current president, Heather Trombley, is an active board member for the organization, advancing the legacy established by current General Counsel, Vickie Waitsman’s six-year tenure on their Board, helping to guide and direct Kids Smiles’ impact in the region. DENTALEZ’s sponsorship and employee participation in fund-raising activities further demonstrate our hands-on commitment to advancing access and expanding quality dental care for these children. We believe that healthy smiles lead to better health outcomes ― and remain committed to helping advance this worthy cause.
Kids Smiles opened their first office in southwest Philadelphia in 2001 with five employees and big hopes. The mission? “To raise and expand the practice of oral healthcare in under-served communities by providing clinical care, education, and by partnering with community and healthcare organizations to create positive health behaviors among the children and families we serve.”
“The majority of our patients are insured through Medicaid ― 90 percent are on public Medicaid and CHIP. We also offer a Grin and Share It program providing 100 percent free care,” says Cheryl Janssen, current CEO and Founding Executive Director of Kids Smiles. “We work with families to help determine if they’re qualified for insurance and work closely with PCCY to successfully enroll them.” Kids Smiles differs from other programs by providing comprehensive dental care, including exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and even extractions.
DENTALEZ donated the dental chairs to support the opening of a second office in 2005 serving families in west Philadelphia; in 2019, DENTALEZ donated $35,000 in equipment and supports Kids Smiles’ newly opened third office in northeast Philadelphia amidst the many challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has presented.
Since 2005, DENTALEZ remains a strong supporter of Kids Smiles’ mission through monetary and product donations, and time investment from employees. Each year, DENTALEZ proudly sponsors the annual Kids Smiles golf outing that has raised more than $600,000 over the past eight years.
And Kids Smiles’ impact goes beyond dental services. Recognizing that dental care is holistic and focusing on the importance of family involvement, extensive outreach and education programs are spearheaded by Stacey Benner, Director of Education and Outreach, involving multiple community partners. From schools to daycare providers, Kids Smiles delivers education including oral health lessons, parent workshops, and critical on-site screenings to help identify urgent needs and support, even scheduling follow-up care at a convenient Kids Smiles location.
We’re excited to share more about this wonderful organization! In our next article, we’ll introduce some of the changes Kids Smiles is experiencing due to the current pandemic, and how the organization is adapting its delivery model ― for the better! It’s a great #silverlinings story ― so stay tuned!