Aetna partners with Oral Health Kansas to support access to dental care for all

Aetna Better Health® of Kansas today announced that Aetna® has donated $30,000 to Oral Health Kansas, Inc., to help support its Pathways to Oral Health: Education Initiatives for Accessible Dental Care (Pathways) program aimed at increasing dental care for individuals with disabilities. Oral Health Kansas works with partners to create a culture that values oral health as a part of overall health for Kansans.

University of Kansas Medical Center Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) will partner with Oral Health Kansas on the Pathways program to provide training for dentists, hygienists, case managers and other health care professionals on the unique oral health needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The goal of the Project ECHO training is to increase participants’ ability to treat and manage complex health care challenges in their own communities. The donation will help sustain the five-session, continuing-education series offered to participants at no-cost.

“Kansans with a disability were more likely to not receive oral health care in the past 12 months than Kansans without a disability,” said Jane Brown, CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas. “Our support of this vital program could help eliminate that barrier to care in every Kansas community.”

Tanya Dorf-Brunner, executive director of Oral Health Kansas, added, “A lack of preventive dental care on a regular basis can lead to more serious oral health problems, higher medical costs and an increased chance of disease. The better we train providers, the better we can care for our communities.”

The donation also will support Oral Health Kansas’ Feeling Good About Your Smile program — an oral health workshop for adults with disabilities and their caregivers. The 60-minute session includes colorful slides, hands-on activities and a free toothbrush and toothpaste. Attendees will have fun while gaining the knowledge and confidence they need to adopt healthy behaviors that improve oral health.

Since 2021, Aetna has donated more than $330,000 to various community-based organizations across the state to positively impact population health and provide those in need with more options to access quality health care.


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