The NYU College of Dentistry has received a large donation from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) to create a pilot program to provide financial support for the dental care of US veterans with blood cancer. Care will be provided to NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilitieswhere staff are trained with special skills to ensure quality treatment and holistic care for people with disabilities and complex medical conditions.
Cancer patients have unique oral health needs and may need dental care before starting treatment or after to resolve treatment-related issues. Before starting cancer treatment, and especially before undergoing a stem cell transplant, which suppresses the immune system, blood cancer patients may need to see a dentist to treat existing dental problems such as infections. Unresolved dental issues can lead to serious complications, including sepsis, and can compromise treatment. Moreover, many cancer patients are at high risk for oral complications– including mouth sores, bleeding gums and tooth decay – resulting from cancer treatment.
Only a small subset of veterans, including those with service-related dental disabilities or former POWs, are eligible for dental care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). As a result, most veterans who receive medical care through the VA and, when faced with a diagnosis of blood cancer, undergo cancer treatment at the VA, may not have access to dental care they can afford.
LLS’ donation will establish a Patient Care Access Fund at NYU Dentistry to enable veterans with blood cancer to receive comprehensive dental care at no cost. Financial assistance will cover the cost of dental procedures necessary to begin cancer treatment or necessary as a result of treatment. With this pilot project, NYU Dentistry expects to provide 250 to 300 patient visits for veterans over a 12-month period. Based on the success of the pilot project, LLS, in consultation with NYU Dentistry, plans to expand the program to additional sites of care.
“Facilitating lifesaving dental care for veterans with blood cancer is essential for this uniquely vulnerable population,” said Charles N. Bertolami, DDS, DMedSc, Dean Herman Robert Fox of NYU Dentistry. “NYU Dentistry is honored to receive financial support from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to help advance its mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and myeloma, and improve the quality of lives of patients and their families,” he said. added.
« The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is pleased to partner with the NYU College of Dentistry to help veterans with blood cancer get essential dental care so they can safely receive life-saving blood cancer treatment,” said Gwen Nichols, MD, chief medical officer of LLS. “Together, we can remove the barriers to affordability faced by veterans, so they can receive comprehensive dental care without incurring expense.”
The new program builds on and expands NYU Dentistry’s successful pilot program for veterans that began in July 2021, when NYU Dentistry was selected by the VA to implement the Oral Care Access Resource for Veterans. veterans (VOCARE) as part of the VA. VETSmile pilot program. VETSmile/VOCARE provides comprehensive dental services to veterans in the New York area that the VA is unable to provide. In the first year of VETSmile/VOCARE, NYU Dentistry provided dental care to 1,022 veterans during 5,643 visits and performed 10,821 procedures.
The VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, which includes campuses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, refers eligible veterans to NYU to receive dental services through the VETSmile/VOCARE program. This benchmark agreement will continue with the new SLL-supported program for veterans with blood cancer.
Michael O’Connor, EdD, Executive Vice Dean of NYU Dentistry and Director of the VETSmile/VOCARE Project, said, “Our benchmark agreement with the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System is central to NYU Dentistry’s ability to expand the access to necessary dental care. care for veterans with blood cancer and other veterans who are not eligible for dental care through the VA. We are extremely fortunate to have both the VA and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as strategic partners on behalf of veterans in need who have nowhere to turn for dental care.
About the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world leader in the fight against blood cancer. The mission of the LLS: To cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The LLS funds vital blood cancer research worldwide, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality coordinated care. , affordable.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has regions across the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
About NYU College of Dentistry
Founded in 1865, New York University College of Dentistry (NYU Dentistry) is the third oldest and largest dental school in the United States, educating nearly 10% of the nation’s dentists. NYU Dentistry has a significant global reach with a very diverse student body. Visit dental.nyu.edu for more.