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Renaissance Grants $3,000 to the Florida Dental Association to Present Oral Health Workshops for the Vulnerable Elderly
Date:7/23/2009

DAVIE, Fla., July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to improve the oral health of Florida's elderly population, Renaissance Health Service Corporation (RHSC) granted $3,000 to help fund the Florida Dental Association's (FDA) dental health traveling seminar -- Oral Health Education and Prevention Program for the Vulnerable Elderly.

The seminar is presented to the administrators and staff members of nursing homes, assisted living centers and community-based senior programs throughout Florida. At the presentation, the FDA's Dr. Nolan W. Allen, past president, and Bob Macdonald, director of dental care and health, educate attendees about the importance of maintaining the oral health of their residents.

"By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be older than 65," said Dr. Allen. "It is vital that we provide dental information for seniors and caretakers in order to protect the overall health of Florida's vulnerable elderly."

After the seminar, each attendee receives an information packet with a DVD detailing basic dental hygiene methods and oral health brochures from the FDA's "Dentistry: Gateway to Good Health" campaign. The seminar and supporting materials give caregivers the tools to protect their patient's oral and overall health.

"Oral health is generally an overlooked element of an older person's overall health, although they are closely connected," said Tonya Draughon, director of business and product development for Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America, the nationwide insurance company of RHSC. "Improving oral health can prevent complications due to chronic diseases such as diabetes as well as helping to prevent aspiration pneumonia, thus improving quality of life. With this in mind, Renaissance Health Service Corporation fully supports the Florida Dental Association's efforts to educate the caretakers of the elderly on the importance of oral health."

Many people 65 years of age or older have at least one chronic health condition and/or limited access to care, making oral health care issues complex. Challenges affecting vulnerable elders' ability to attain oral health care include a lack of financial security, decreasing quality of life and general health, physical limitations, and limited independence and support from the community. Older adults also face a variety of special oral health challenges, including root and coronal caries, periodontal disease, tooth wear, oral cancer, or complications from prescription and over-the-counter medication.

Rep. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla, Fla.), who also donated funds to this program, said "Our senior population is frequently afflicted with chronic diseases or physical limitations that have adverse effects on their oral health. This, in turn, is detrimental to their general health. Many of these seniors have taken good care of their oral health in their younger years and we need to make every reasonable effort to help them continue through life with good health."

About the Florida Dental Association

The FDA is a Tallahassee-based, statewide, professional association representing member-dentists in Florida. Founded in 1884 by 12 dentists, the FDA now has more than 6,500 members, representing almost 70 percent of all Florida-licensed dentists. The FDA maintains three offices in Tallahassee and has 60 employees. A constituent society of the American Dental Association, the mission of the FDA is to improve the oral health of Florida residents through high practice standards, continuous professional education, public advocacy and improving the practice environment. The Florida Dental Health Foundation is the FDA's dental charity and the Alliance of the FDA is an FDA support group.

About Renaissance Health Service Corporation

Renaissance Health Service Corporation (RHSC) is a not-for-profit organization comprised of companies that focus on affordable health care benefits, employee benefit and claim management services, and access cards to reduce health care costs for groups and individuals. Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America (Renaissance America), the nationwide insurance company of RHSC, offers Renaissance Dental group and individual dental benefits, including the new Renaissance Dental Extend for Retirees, an individually-billed product now available nationwide through employers and other organizations. The Renaissance family of companies dates back to 1957 and today has offices in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, New York, Florida, New Mexico and Kentucky. Collectively, Renaissance provides coverage for more than 8 million people with annual revenues of nearly $2.5 billion. www.RenaissanceFamily.com or www.RenaissanceDental.com.


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SOURCE Renaissance Life & Health Insurance Company of America
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