Immediate Release Contact: Collin Nash or Justin Meyers
June 6, 2008 (516) 869-7794
Town of North Hempstead Welcomes North Shore-LIJ, United Way - Dental Van Services to Uninsured
MANHASSET, NY – The Town of North Hempstead announced an agreement with Mobile Health Long Island, a joint initiative of United Way of Long Island and the North Shore-LIJ Health System, to make dental care more available to uninsured residents of Project Independence, a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC) in North New Hyde Park.
Staffed by trained personnel from the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the fully equipped van will travel to the Town of North Hempstead’s Project Independence New Hyde Park every six weeks, treating residents there in need of immediate dental care
“The Town of North Hempstead is always looking to provide more modern and efficient health care services to residents,” said Supervisor Jon Kaiman. “Mobile Health Long Island is a program that brings innovative, much- needed services to our residents.”
Launched last winter, Mobile Health Long Island’s dental van service is made possible by a generous donation on the part of the Horace and Amy Hagedorn Long Island Fund, a grant from the New York State Health Foundation, and the partnership of United Way of Long Island and the North Shore-LIJ Health System. This collaborative effort is an attempt to raise awareness that tooth decay can lead to irreversible health damage.
“Dental care is a frequently neglected healthcare service for children and adults without insurance,” said Michael J. Dowling, North Shore-LIJ’s president and chief executive officer (CEO). “We’re pleased to fulfill a major community health need by expanding dental services for the uninsured in the Town of North Hempstead.”
“Proper dental care is the gateway to proper nutrition. There are over 250,000 people living on Long Island that have no or inadequate health insurance, and even more Long Islanders lack dental coverage,” says Christopher Hahn, president and CEO of United Way of Long Island. “This unit, with along with its sister mobile health unit, provides Long Islanders in need access to proper health care.”
The 30-foot-long dental van is equipped with a full time dentist, a dental hygienist, dental assistants, rotating dental residents and two dental chairs. “We are excited to offer this service to those families in need,” said Supervisor Kaiman. “Initially we need to regulate the number of patients to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, but hopefully soon we will begin offer this service to a broader range of residents”
In addition to Project Independence in North New Hyde Park, the dental van makes twice-a-week stops in Bay Shore and Hempstead, and treats elderly residents during alternating visits on Wednesdays to NORCS served by North Shore-LIJ clinicians, including Project Independence in North New Hyde Park.
(L to R) Director of Community Health Dale Chaikin B.S.N., R.N., President & CEO of United Way of Long Island Christopher M. Hahn,
North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Vice President of North Shore-LIJ Health System Renee Pekmezaris and Project Independence Program Director Robin Tovell.
(L to R) Vice President of North Shore-LIJ Health System Renee Pekmezaris, Director of Community Health Dale Chaikin, North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman,
New Hyde Park Resident Marion Gilhooney, President & CEO of United Way of Long Island Christopher M. Hahn and Project Independence Program Director Robin Tovell.