NYU Dentistry to Host Virtual Summit on Access to Care for the Disabled

Dentistry Today


The New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry will host “AHEAD: Achieving Health Equity through Access for All with Disabilities,” a symposium bringing together experts in healthcare advocacy, access, and funding at the state and federal levels for people with disabilities. The virtual event is scheduled for October 2 from 8:45 am to 1:30 pm EDT.

Neil Romano, chairman of the National Council on Disability, will be the symposium’s keynote speaker. The National Council on Disability is a nonpartisan federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policy. Other speakers will include:

  • Timothy Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics
  • Anastasia Somoza, disability rights advocate and community liaison in the Disability, Civil, and Human Rights Division Office of the New York City Council
  • John Kemp, president and CEO of the Viscardi Center
  • Stanley M. Bergman, chairman and CEO of Henry Schein
  • David Chiu, member of the California Assembly

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark law protecting people with disabilities against discrimination in many areas of life, including healthcare, NYU Dentistry noted.

While governments and other organizations have strived to create a more accessible world, including NYU Dentistry opening its Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities in 2019, many people with disabilities still face barriers to receiving care, the school said.

“We need solutions that enable individuals with disabilities to access and afford oral healthcare, and not just care, but high-quality, dignified, and coordinated care,” said Charles N. Bertolami, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU Dentistry.

“NYU College of Dentistry is honored to bring together this esteemed and passionate group of disability, health, and policy experts to discuss how to create a more equitable healthcare sector for people with disabilities,” Bertolami said.

The symposium will address the need to carve out a fair and sustainable funding policy for healthcare based on value, NYU Dentistry said. It also will explore the family/provider relationship, the impact of COVID-19 on the disability community, and the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing access to care both locally and nationally.

The event is open to the public with registration. A complete schedule and registration are available online. A link to the Zoom webinar will be provided after registration.

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