CHICAGO, November 17, 2014 – To address the crisis currently facing older Americans relative to their oral health, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation (DTA Foundation) recently awarded Oral Health America (OHA) a $25,000 grant to create an oral health information system for pharmacists to better prepare them to answer the questions seniors have regarding oral health. Since 70% of older adults do not have dental insurance, their access to a dentist may be limited, but they may interact with pharmacists on a regular basis, making pharmacists an ideal oral health resource.
The DTA Foundation grant recognizes that oral health impacts overall health, and that there is an unmet need in reaching older adult consumers. The grant funds the creation of an oral health curriculum for pharmacists that will be test marketed through a regional professional development summit. It also provides funding for the creation of an online toolkit with educational information designed to assist pharmacists with providing information about oral health-related topics of interest to older adults. Additionally, the grant will enable the creation of plain language materials that pharmacists can have readily available at the pharmacy counter to answer the questions most frequently asked by older adults.
“The DTA Foundation grant offers OHA the opportunity to pilot an idea that capitalizes on the need to engage an inter-professional workforce in meeting the oral health needs of older Americans,” said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett. “Pharmacists are an ideal resource because they come in contact with older adults in natural community settings. We are grateful for this generous grant from the DTA Foundation which allows OHA to engage this important group of health professionals in educating older adult consumers.”
“The DTA Foundation remains committed to creating access to oral healthcare and sees this new opportunity with Oral Health America and pharmacists as a responsible way to leverage our resources to promote real change,” said Scott Parrish, DTA Foundation Chair and President of A-dec.
OHA focuses on older adults through the Wisdom Tooth Project®, a program that connects older adults and caregivers to resources where they live and educates them about the importance of oral health. To learn more about OHA’s work for older adults, please visit www.oralhealthamerica.org and to access resources for older adults and their caregivers, please visit www.toothwisdom.org.