Our Work

Expanding Oral Healthcare for America’s Seniors

Approximately 10,000 Americans retire each day and discover that most of them do not have any dental benefits.  Good oral health perpetuates overall well-being and ability to enjoy a healthy lifestyle well into retirement.  People are living longer, active lives and it is important for seniors to continue to receive the oral health care they need to stay healthy and maintain their good dentition.

The rationale, costs, and benefits of improved oral healthcare access for seniors makes a compelling case for expanded government funded benefit coverage.

The lack of oral health care benefits concerns many stakeholders from government, academe, public health, professional associations, corporate entities and advocacy groups.  Together, we can shape policy, optimize benefits, foster health literacy and drive changes necessary to achieve the important goal of expanded access to basic dental care.

On September 29-30, 2016, Santa Fe Group convened 150 leaders and advocates in Washington, DC to review evidence about the need for coverage and to determine what the benefits package would look like.

Conference Presentations:

Welcome, Goals and Dedication – Michael Alfano, President, Santa Fe Group

Greetings – Carol Summerhays, President, American Dental Association

Perspective – Lynn Mouden, Chief Dental Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Keynote Address – Terry Fulmer, President, John A. Hartford Foundation

Senior Oral Healthcare: The Need – Moderators: Claude Earl Fox and Dushanka Kleinman

  • Inequities in Oral Health for America’s Seniors – Judith Jones Access to Oral Care and the Impact of Retirement – Richard Manski
  • Chairside Collision: Oral and Systemic Health, Impact at the Patient Level – Elisa M. Chávez

Senior Oral Healthcare: The Value Proposition – Moderators: Stephen N. Abel and Raul Garcia

  • Oral Conditions and Systemic Health – Ira Lamster
  • Oral Health and Quality of Life – Jed Jacobsen
  • Oral Health and Medical Care Costs and Utilization – Marko Vujicic

Senior Oral Healthcare: The Benefit – Moderators: Nicholas G. Mosca, and Steven W. Kess

  • Political History of Medicare: Lessons for Benefits Development – Jonathan Oberlander
  • Report of the SFG/OHA Benefits Analysis Committee – Judith Jones
  • How Can We Optimize the Benefit Options? – Jeff Chaffin

Senior Oral Healthcare: The Consumer – Moderators: Beth Truett and Fotinos S. Panagakos

  • What Are Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors on Oral Heathcare? – Peter Mitchell

Group Discussions and Deliberations – Moderators: Claude Earl Fox and Raul Garcia

Reactions From Attendees:

Ann Battrell, Chief Executive Officer, American Dental Hygienists’ Association

Eric Berger, Principal, Liberty Partners Group

Marcia Brand, Executive Director, National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health

Mary Lee Conicella, Chief Dental Officer, Aetna

Christopher Fox, Executive Director, American Association of Dental Research

Paul Glassman, Director Advanced General Dentistry Program at University of the Pacific

Judith Haber, Ursela Springer Leadership Professor, NYU College of Nursing

Michael Helgenson, CEO Apple Tree Dental

Kenneth S. Kornman, Co-Founder, President, CSO & Secretary, Interleukin Genetics, Inc. 

Ira Lamster, Dean Emeritus, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine

David A. Lipschutz, Managing Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy 

Mark Nehring, Chair, Department of Public Health and Community Service at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Linda Niessen, Dean and Professor, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine

Gary Price, Executive Director, Dental Trade Alliance

Stacy Sanders, Policy Director, Medicare Rights Center

Beth Truett, Executive Director, Oral Health America

Patrick Willard, Senior Director of State and National Strategic Partnerships for Families USA

Marko Vujicic, Chief Economist, Health Policy Institute, American Dental Association