2007 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Jackson (11th)
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE SULLIVAN-SCHEIN CORPORATION FOR ITS GENEROUS GIFT TO THE CITIZENS OF MISSISSIPPI, A MOBILE DENTAL-OFFICE-ON-WHEELS CALLED "TOMORROW'S DENTAL OFFICE TODAY," WHICH WILL SERVE COMMUNITIES THAT NEED ACCESS TO DENTAL CARE.
WHEREAS, at the ADA Annual Session in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Sullivan-Schein Corporation gave a substantial and generous gift to the citizens of Mississippi, a mobile dental-office-on-wheels called "Tomorrow's Dental Office Today" or TDOT; and
WHEREAS, Sullivan-Schein developed Tomorrow's Dental Office Today in collaboration with the American Dental Association to exhibit cutting-edge dental treatment technology at the ADA Annual Session and dental trade shows. For the past 3 years, Tomorrow's Dental Office Today has been out of the exhibit hall and on America's highways, providing community dental outreach in 24 communities, including the Mississippi Gulf Coast and City of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Department of Health is planning to locate this mobile dental facility in the Mississippi Delta (Clarksdale) and the Mississippi Gulf Coast region to assist dentists to improve access to dental preventive services and care for vulnerable populations, including the uninsured and underinsured. By providing Mississippi with Tomorrow's Dental Office Today, the Sullivan-Schein Corporation is helping us to revitalize these communities by improving access to oral health care and enhancing the equality of life for citizens; and
WHEREAS, as the Gulf Coast was reeling from the staggering efforts of Hurricane Katrina, and Sullivan-Schein Inc., took advantage of the mobility of Tomorrow's Dental Office Today to take this state-of-the-art facility to Waveland, Mississippi, where dental volunteers treated residents whose entire community had been erased. From September 13, 2005 - October 29, 2005, Tomorrow's Dental Office Today was stationed in Waveland, Mississippi, in the parking lot of the Super K-Mart on Highway 90. About 975 people visited the Waveland site and 1077 dental visits were made for emergency dental care at no cost to those served to the local community. Of these 975 people, at least 202 people were residents of Bay St. Louis prior to Hurricane Katrina; and
WHEREAS, now, Tomorrow's Dental Office Today will have a permanent home in the State of Mississippi. Sullivan-Schein Inc., has graciously agreed to donate Tomorrow's Dental Office Today to the Mississippi Department of Health so that Tomorrow's Dental Office Today can be used to serve communities that need access to dental care; and
WHEREAS, dental decay is a significant health problem in Mississippi that disproportionately affects rural and low-income families. A statewide assessment of dental needs conducted in 2005 by the Mississippi Department of Health Office of Primary Care determined that 62 counties could qualify as dental health professional shortage areas. Currently, 44 counties have been designated by the HRSA Office of Workforce Analysis and another 16 are awaiting approval. Coahoma County is considered a geographical dental health professional shortage area. All 82 Mississippi counties are designated medically underserved areas.
WHEREAS, clinical oral health assessments completed during the 2004-2005 school year for third-grade children enrolled in Mississippi's public elementary schools, show that 7 in 10 children (69%) have experienced dental decay and 2 in 5 children (39%) have untreated dental decay or "cavities." Ten percent, or 1 in 10 children, attend school with infection or pain from dental disease, which means that more than 3,800 third-grade children have pain or infection because of dental decay; and
WHEREAS, Mississippi's African-American children have a significantly higher prevalence of decay experience and untreated decay, but a significantly lower prevalence of protective dental sealants. In addition, almost twice as many African-American children are in need of urgent care because of pain or infection; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the substantial contributions of this corporate citizen who has made dental care possible to many children in the State of Mississippi: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the Sullivan-Schein Inc., for its generous gift to the citizens of Mississippi, a mobile Dental-Office-On-Wheels called "Tomorrow's Dental Office Today," which will serve communities in the hurricane-stricken Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Mississippi Delta that need access to dental care, and extend to them the best wishes of the Senate in their future corporate, civic and charitable activities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the CEO of Sullivan-Schein Inc., and be forwarded to the State Board of Health and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.