MELVILLE, N.Y., Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today that the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Program has received The Blue Card's Max L. Heine Humanitarian Award. The Blue Card is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides direct financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors living in the United States.
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 Program and Immediate Past International President, Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, to accept the award at The Blue Card's Annual Benefit Dinner, held November 16 at the New York Public Library.
Vice President Joe Biden issued a special video message congratulating the program for this honor, 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 United States. 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 Program was honored 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 Program 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 program has provided free oral care to more than 140 economically vulnerable Holocaust survivors in twelve cities across North America.
"We are humbled that the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Program 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 program could not exist without the passion and energy of all of our partners, and we are honored 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 organizations, as well as people of any faith who were victims of Nazi persecution and meet the program's other eligibility requirements. In addition to financial need, patient participation is prioritized 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 program 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 program partner, Henry Schein, for sharing Alpha Omega's commitment to expanding access to care for vulnerable and underserved populations."
This program fills a critical need for many of the 120,000 Holocaust survivors living in the U.S., 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, the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Seattle, Montreal, and Toronto—the program has since expanded to Atlanta, Columbus, and Calgary.
The program 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 program's laboratory partner, donating dental laboratory services for designated cases.
Please watch this video for more information about the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program.