Sarrell Dental, which serves low-income children on Medicaid, today announced an affiliation with the Massachusetts-based nonprofit DentaQuest Care Group. Through the team-up, the two organizations will share ideas and strategies on how to provide and improve oral care to more Americans across the country.
Sarrell Dental is a nonprofit organization with 15 clinics across the state. DentaQuest works to provide better oral health to low-income Americans, including those in Alabama. Last year, DentaQuest provided a $100,000 grant to the UAB School of Dentistry to conduct free school-based health screenings to children in Birmingham city schools.
As part of the affiliation, Jeff Parker, CEO of Sarrell Dental, will also be CEO of DentaQuest's health care delivery.
"He'll be helping us think of programs and ways to spread services across the country," said Fay Donohue, president and CEO of DentaQuest.
Parker noted that no money was exchanged as part of the affiliation and that the partnership will not impact Sarrell or the services it provides.
"Sarrell Dental doesn't need any financial help," Parker said.
Sarrell is the main provider in Alabama of dental care for low-income children on Medicaid. Sarrell treated about 130,000 patients last year, all through Medicaid reimbursements.
"This affiliation represents a validation of our model of care," Parker said.
Ralph Fuccillo, chief mission officer at DentaQuest, said DentaQuest and Sarrell Dental's goals fit well together.
"Our mission is to improve the oral health of all and part of that mission is to help children," Fuccillo said.
In a Thursday email to The Star, Lela Sarrell, widow of Sarrell Dental founder Dr. Warren Sarrell, said her husband would have supported the affiliation.
"My husband would be particularly proud that his vision for helping children get access to oral healthcare would be recognized and validated by this important partnership," she said. "The Sarrell Dental board, on which I sit, fully and unanimously supported this affiliation.”
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.