DentaQuest Institute Names 2013 Safety Net Solutions Centers of Excellence

The DentaQuest Institute named five organizations their 2013 Safety Net Solutions Centers of Excellence for their commitment to providing high-quality care to their patients, displaying leadership and excellence in practice management and improving the oral health of their communities. Each year, the Safety Net Solutions (SNS) program partners with dental clinics across the country serving uninsured and underinsured populations to provide customized technical assistance and practice management consulting.

“We are thrilled to honor our partners who have made tremendous strides to protect, promote and enhance the oral health of their patients,” said Dr. Mark Doherty, executive director of Safety Net Solutions. “This year’s DentaQuest Institute Centers of Excellence should be proud of their accomplishments for distinguishing themselves as leaders in community-based oral health.”

Since 2010, the Institute has honored up to five programs each year that have improved access and quality of health care. This year’s recipients include:


  • Dorchester House Multi-Service Center, a clinic in Dorchester, MA whose dental program, under new leadership, has restored and improved its productivity, clinical quality outcomes and financial health in the past year.

North Carolina

  • CommWell Health, a clinic in Dunn, NC that, after implementing recommendations from Safety Net Solutions to enhance the practice, significantly improved their financial situation and began tracking and exceeding goals for important quality outcomes indicators.


  • Ohio State University, Nisonger Dental Program, a clinic in Columbus, OH that expanded their mission to serve young low-income children and developmentally disabled children by increasing the number of patient visits and completing more patient treatment plans.


  • Sadler Health Center, a clinic in Carlisle, PA that made significant strides in integrating their oral health services with their medical services, as well as increaseing operational efficiences within the dental department.
  • Southeast Lancaster Health Center, a clinic in Lancaster, PA that made drastic improvements to their financial sustainability and operational efficiency in the first 6 months after implementing recommendations from SNS .

The honorees were challenged to institute changes in their practice management to increase access, promote financial sustainability and improve oral health outcomes. Safety Net Solutions works with dental clinics to implement processes that increase gross charges, net revenue, and overall visits and decrease expenses and “no-shows”.  Evaluations have shown that each of this year’s honorees have successfully attained the majority of their stated goals.

DentaQuest is supporting the Arizona Mission of Mercy Event

DentaQuest will donate $10,000 and volunteer staff time at the Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation’s Mission of Mercy (MOM) event, a free dental care clinic on December 13 and 14 at the Arizona Fairgrounds in Phoenix, AZ.

The MOM event is expected to help more than 2,000 adults and children receive free dental care in Phoenix where there are substantial disparities in oral health. Only about 40% of low-income children receive dental care according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Our mission is to improve the oral health of all,” said Dr. Robert Birdwell, Regional Director of DentaQuest.  “Through our participation in this Mission of Mercy, we can help communities that are most in need of dental services. We are proud to join the Central Arizona Dental Society through donations and staff volunteers to increase access to care for Arizonians.”

Dr. Birdwell will volunteer alongside DentaQuest’s Lynn Allen, Regional Vice President; Nancy McEwen, Executive Director; Kimberly Johnson, Regional Sales Director; Dara McDaniel, Arizona Provider Representative; and Susan Harrison, Arizona Provider Representative.

Mission of Mercy events occur across the country to raise public awareness about the barriers to dental care faced by low-income adults and children in the US, and challenges patients, policymakers, and dental professionals to work together to improve Americans’ overall oral health.

Contracting with Private Practice Dentists: Partnerships for Access on SOHSN-Oral-Health webinar offering!

Time: January 7, 2014 from 2pm to 3:30pm
Organized By: Cindy Thomas

Event Description:

In 2009, the CHIP Reauthorization Act authorized that federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and look-alikes may contract with private dentists to provide dental services to health center patients in the dentists’ private offices. While much of the FQHC community is aware of the concept, private dentist contracting has not been widely adopted thus far, and there is a lack of knowledge on the practicalities of implementing this approach.  This webinar provides an overview of contracting practice, discusses the parameters to be negotiated, shares examples of contracts and highlights successes and challenges from the actual FQHCs.
Learning Objectives: By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to: (*please note that learning objectives should be concrete/tangible and able to be measured)
1.  Participants will understand how the process of contracting with a private practice provider should work.
2.  Participants will understand what items should be included in an agreement to be used when contracting 
     with a private practice provider.
3.  Participants will identify strategies to implement contracting with private practice dentists at FQHCs. 

Dental CEU credits will be available for this webinar.

See more details and RSVP on SOHSN-Oral-Health:

Jennifer Redding has been an Administrative Assistant in the DentaQuest Institute since 2010.  Jenn’s primary role is to provide administrative support to Mark Doherty as Executive Director of Safety Net Solutions, but she also supports the entire Safety Net Solutions team as needed

Ilya Okunev is a Senior Data Analyst with Analytics and Publication. In this role, he provides analytical, statistical and methodological support to the institute. Before joining the Analytics and Publication Group at DQI, he worked in the Business Analytics group under the direction of Hsing Min Sha. Over there, he led the development of successive new versions of the Fraud Waste and Abuse Model, helping to streamline the process by which the Fraud Prevention and Recovery Team identified suspicious billing patterns and wasteful practices.

Mr. Abelman is an Executive Vice President for DentaQuest and has been with the company since September, 2013. Prior to joining DentaQuest, he served in various roles, including Sr. Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Tufts Health Plan, President of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, Senior Counsel at Fidelity Investments and junior partner at Nutter, McLennen & Fish. From 1991 through 1996, Dave served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Boston, focusing on the prosecution of health care fraud and other white collar crimes.

A change agent with a proven track record, Alison brings a powerful combination of forward thinking digital acumen and traditional marketing expertise to DentaQuest’s brand and business-to-consumer strategies. Under Alison’s leadership, DentaQuest is elevating the customer experience through digital transformation and data-driven decision-making.

Joe Wislar is a biostatistician with Analytics and Publication. In this role he provides expert statistical and methodological support to the Institute. He conducts analyses for a variety of research projects at the Institute affecting policy, public health and dental clinics. Some current projects include survival analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, analysis of survey data and analysis of big data from Medicaid files.

As a Project Manager, Avery’s responsibilities include assisting the AnP team with managing their many research projects through the research and publication process, providing analytical and drafting assistance, and coordinating presentations, lectures, and keynote addresses.

Dr. Hyewon Lee is a pediatric dentist and public health strategist focused on policies and programs for children and pregnant women. She led and co-led the development of multiple policy resolutions, including the Declaration on Access to Oral Health for Children published by the World Federation of Public Health Associations. Before joining the DentaQuest Institute through the DSSF, she served as a policy analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States, Health Resources, and Services Administration.