Sarrell Dental Centers, the main provider in Alabama of dental care for low-income children on Medicaid, with 14 clinics across the state, is one of six finalists in the world for Ashoka Changemakers' award for innovative business models. Ashoka Changemakers is a Virginia-based nonprofit that supports social entrepreneurship in more than 70 countries.
According to its website, Ashoka chose the six finalists, "for their potential to disrupt and transform health systems so that real value for patients, families, and communities are placed at the center of care."
As the final part of the award process, residents are encouraged to vote to decide which finalist should win the top prize. The voting deadline is June 18 and the winner will be announced July 7. Residents can vote for Sarrell by visiting www.changemakers.com/healthbiz and following the instructions.
"Sarrell Dental is honored to be a shining light for Calhoun County," said Jeff Parker, CEO of Sarrell Dental. "Our success is challenging our nation's healthcare system to look at new ways to deliver quality care at an affordable price to our government and taxpayers."
Joshua Jones, vice president of governmental affairs for Sarrell Dental, said a colleague in the dental community encouraged him to register Sarrell with Ashoka and was notified on March 20 that the dental center had been selected for consideration for the award out of 260 international entries.
"With such a large pool of applicants with truly innovative ideas from around the world, we consider it an honor to even be named a finalist," Jones said.
Parker said that if Sarrell wins the award, the prize money will be used in the dental clinic's ongoing technology upgrades.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.