Barbie Vartanian will be the first executive director of the Viscardi Center’s Project Accessible Oral Health initiative, focused on leading a global consortium of stakeholders to tackle inferior, unequal access to culturally competent oral healthcare among the disability community.
“Barbie is highly accomplished and results-driven. She has pioneered initiatives that have enhanced the care of the underserved and transformed the way people with cognitive disabilities receive treatment by dental professionals,” said John D. Kemp, president and CEO of the Viscardi Center and chairman of Project Accessible Oral Health.
“We are fortunate to have her in this leadership role to help make change happen for the more than 57 million people with disabilities in this country who, for many years, have unjustly been denied or unable to access quality oral healthcare that can have a direct impact on overall health. For those of us with a disability, this healthcare crisis has persisted for too long,” said Kemp.
“Together with our extensive group of dedicated partners, we will work to improve the delivery of competent oral healthcare for the disability community. The fact that Barbie has a young son with autism makes her an even greater advocate with insight, empathy, and passion to drive these needed changes. This is also personal for her,” said Kemp.
Formerly of the Pacific Dental Services Foundation, Vartanian will lead Project Accessible Oral Health’s mission to connect multiple stakeholders from across medical, dental, education, political, and public sectors to act as a collective catalyst for action, moving the needle on policy, education, and awareness of the crisis.