In a cooperative effort with the Michigan Dental Association (MDA), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will donate $1 million for the procurement and distribution of emergency personal protective equipment (PPE) to support dentists and patients statewide amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The funds will be used to acquire $1 million worth of PPE for the assembly and distribution of safety kits to help protect dentists, dental staff, and patients against the transmission of COVID-19 while dental care services are being performed.
Each kit will include KN-95 masks approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, disposable isolation gowns with cuffs, and bouffant hair caps. The kits will be shipped to dentists who practice and primarily serve patients throughout Michigan.
“Recognizing the importance of regular dental care to the overall health of Michigan residents, we understand it’s a crucial time to support local dentists in providing a service experience that not only safeguards their safety, but helps people feel comfortable getting the care they need,” said Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
“We’re thankful to the Michigan Dental Association for their partnership in making this endeavor possible,” said Loepp.
Blue Cross said the donation is aimed at defraying the cost of purchasing additional PPE and supplies as dental offices provide services to patients. As a result of the pandemic, the company said, safety protocols for dental staff have increased to create a clean and secure environment for anyone seeking dental care.
Added measures include daily temperature and symptom checks for employees, full PPE for providers, and enhanced disinfection procedures for all surfaces before and after each appointment to help prevent the spread of illness, Blue Cross said.
“Dentists are committed to their patients’ health,” said Dr. Steve Meraw, president of the MDA. “This donation of PPE from Blue Cross shows their support of the essential care that dentistry provides. It is greatly appreciated.”
All practicing Michigan dentists, regardless of MDA membership, are eligible to receive a free PPE kit. To register, dentists must complete an online form. Packages will not be sent to residential addresses or post office boxes. The deadline to register for a free kit is September 14, 2020.