On Thursday 29 November Dental Health Services (DHSV) celebrated the people making a difference in oral health. The Public Oral Health Awards provide an opportunity to recognise public oral health professionals, organisations and volunteers that go above and beyond to improve the health outcomes of those most in need of dental treatment.

The Awards highlighted the incredible work being done by genU, a large and dynamic disability services provider. genU have partnered with DHSV on an ‘Oral Health Champions’ program. The program involves a staff member from each residential house who volunteers to take the lead and learn about improving oral health.

DHSV has supported these staff members with training, techniques, support, and encouragement. The impact has been substantial, and staff now feel much more confident to deal with the issues related to looking after teeth of people with intellectual disability. Most importantly, the residents are happier and their mouths are much healthier.

Being recognised as a finalist was an important acknowledgement of the dedication of genU staff to improving the oral health of the people with whom they work.

DHSV CEO Deborah Cole and Board Chair Zoe Wainer were on hand to present a certificate recognising Margery Pithouse and her staff, who are real champions of change. They hope to keep advancing the program and making significant changes within the community.

For contact on improving oral health or developing an Oral Health Champions program in your organisation, please contact George Darroch at DHSV, on (03) 9341 1721 or george.darroch@gmail.com

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