Delta Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental) and its charitable arm, the Smile180 Basis, have identified outgoing Tennessee Wellbeing Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey with its third-at any time Smile Power Award.
The award, which celebrates an particular person who has designed a important positive impact on the oral wellbeing of Tennesseans, was provided to Dr. Piercey in recognition of her stewardship of the state’s new 5-yr, $94 million pilot plan to broaden entry to dental care identified as the Balanced Smiles Initiative.
“Too normally persons deal with oral overall health as a different issue, and I have to remind them that your mouth is related to the relaxation of your physique,” claimed Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO of Delta Dental. “But Commissioner Piercey understood the importance and urgency of addressing our dental disaster in Tennessee from the start, and played a vital purpose in the progress and top approval of the Nutritious Smiles Initiative. Generations of Tennesseans will profit from her management, and I can not consider of a much better or more deserving recipient of this award.”
At the ask for of Governor Invoice Lee, Commissioner Piercey convened a group of dental field stakeholders from across the point out in early 2021 to build suggestions to increase access to substantial-top quality, economical dental treatment for Tennesseans.
The workgroup, which involved dentists, dental hygienists, the state’s two dental educational facilities, TennCare, the Department of Well being, payors, security internet clinics, and other individuals, settled on a complete established of proposals that became the Nutritious Smiles Initiative.
The significant factors of the Nutritious Smiles Initiative are an enlargement of dental college course measurements, new and strengthened workforce recruitment and retention attempts, and enhanced security net funding. Two current, proven security internet systems will receive a sizeable boost: the Smile On 65+ program, which offers oral wellbeing care and circumstance administration products and services for older older people, and the prosthodontic grant system, which has to date served provide additional than 2,300 Tennesseans observed in safety-net clinics with lower- or no-expense dentures.
“Everything we do at the Office of Overall health goes back to our mission assertion – to secure, promote, and enhance the wellness and prosperity of individuals in Tennessee,” stated Dr. Piercey. “The Wholesome Smiles Initiative checks all of those people bins – even and in particular prosperity – due to the fact if you really do not have a balanced smile, you may perhaps have problems getting and holding a task, absolutely a person that aligns with your capabilities and capabilities.”
“A lot of individuals do not recognize how access to dental treatment also impacts another important problem in Tennessee: rural clinic sustainability,” Piercey added. “Without a dentist nearby, you stop up with far more folks in the emergency space with challenges that could and really should have been dealt with by a dentist. And whilst the hospital has to – and wants to – treatment for any person who walks into the ER, they’re obtaining reimbursed very small, if anything at all, for all those services.”
Just before her appointment by Governor Lee in January 2019, Dr. Piercey, a board-qualified baby abuse pediatrician, put in a decade doing work in overall health techniques functions, most not long ago with West Tennessee Healthcare, a general public, not-for-revenue wellness technique with far more than 7,000 personnel servicing 22 counties.
She has continued to see sufferers in her pediatric exercise in Jackson, Tennessee, once a 7 days through her services as Commissioner.
Piercey is the third recipient of the Smile Energy Award.
The late Point out Consultant Charles Sargent, a winner of oral wellness troubles such as the denture grant application, gained the inaugural Smile Energy Award in 2018. Former Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie Blend McPeak was honored in 2019 for her work in assist of the development of Dental Dental’s Smile180 Foundation.
The Smile180 Basis has donated additional than $21.5 million to Tennessee’s dental colleges, children’s hospitals, cost-free and lessened-cost dental clinics, and other like-minded charities since its creation in 2015.
To master a lot more about Delta Dental’s philanthropic do the job across Tennessee, visit the Smile180 Foundation web site.
ABOUT DELTA DENTAL OF TENNESSEE
Delta Dental of Tennessee is the state’s biggest independent dental rewards carrier with virtually 1.4 million lives covered. As section of the Delta Dental Plans Affiliation, Delta Dental of Tennessee associates have obtain to the most significant dental network in the country with more than 154,000 suppliers serving additional than 437,000 places.
With the straightforward mission of making sure nutritious smiles, Delta Dental of Tennessee works hard to support customers of the communities it serves. Along with its company foundation, Smile180, Delta Dental of Tennessee donated far more than $5.4 million in funding and in-type expert services to in excess of 130 companies in 2021.