Lt. Governor Brown, MDAC Launch "Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids" Oral Health Literacy Campaign
BALTIMORE, Md. (March 23, 2012) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin, Congressman Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Dental Action Coalition (MDAC), and the Maryland Office of Oral Health held a press conference today to announce the launch of the “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids” oral health literacy campaign, targeting families with children who are eligible for dental care through Medicaid yet aren’t accessing the service.
“In 2007, 12 year-old Deamonte Driver tragically died from an untreated tooth infection,” said Anthony G. Brown, Maryland Lt. Governor and Chair of the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council. “Since then, Maryland has been committed to improving pediatric oral healthcare for all children ― especially those who are underserved. No child in our state should suffer because they can’t access basic dental care. No mother should lose her son or daughter because of a toothache. Through ‘Healthy Teeth, Healthy Kids,’ we can help make sure that every child in the State of Maryland gets the care they need to live healthier, happier lives.”
The campaign is part of Maryland's ongoing effort to improve access to dental care statewide in the wake of the 2007 death of Deamonte Driver, a Prince George’s County boy who died when he was unable to receive treatment for a tooth infection and the bacteria infected his brain. A local mother, Vanessa Pearl, spoke about the no-cost dental screening that she obtained for her 4-year-old son, Marcus, at The Ark in Baltimore – an opportunity that wasn’t available before Driver’s death.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s health care portfolio. Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have expanded health coverage to over 310,000 Marylanders and put the State in position to maximize the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).