Americares and Baxter International Foundation Announce Oral Health Project to Prevent Systemic Health Issues in Low-Income Patients

Increasing Access to Care by Providing 30 Clinics with Educational
Tools to Best Serve Underinsured Patients

DEERFIELD, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Baxter International Foundation and Americares are launching a new oral
health project to help combat the negative impact poor oral hygiene can
have on patients’ overall health.

The Americares Oral Health Project will give 30 Americares partner
clinics across the United States the capacity to deliver oral health
education to uninsured, underinsured and low-income patients. Baxter
International Foundation is funding the year-long initiative with a
nearly $75,000 grant to Americares, the world’s leading nonprofit
provider of donated medicine and supplies.

A lack of dental care disproportionately affects low-income individuals’
overall health and socio-economic status; an estimated 164 million work
hours are lost each year due to oral disease. In addition, the Mayo
Clinic has found oral health may contribute to various diseases and
conditions like endocarditis, cardiovascular disease and premature birth.

The Americares Oral Health Project will train partner clinic staff to
integrate oral health education and introduce preventive measures for
dental health issues in a primary care setting. In the United States,
Americares supports a network of 1,000 clinics and health centers
serving 5 million patients in need with medicine, supplies, education
and training.

The new program includes a customized ”Train the Trainer” webinar
series, created in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare
Advancement, to educate partner clinic staff on how to integrate basic
oral health education materials, including those designed for patients
with low literacy, into primary and dental care settings. The training
sessions will each entail three, one-hour educational modules
accompanied by an oral health instructional book, ”What to Do for
Healthy Teeth” intended for children and adults. The book is an
easy-to-follow, elementary guide developed by two dentists covering an
extensive range of oral health topics on how to care for every tooth in
adults and for children from birth to age 18.

”Baxter is steadfast in our commitment to help provide access to
healthcare,” said Stacey Eisen, president of the Baxter International
Foundation and vice president, global communications at Baxter. ”Our
partnership with Americares and the launch of the oral health initiative
is paving a new avenue that can engage vulnerable, underserved
populations to address issues related to dental care and, in turn,
significantly improve their overall health.”

The training and educational resources cover a wide range of oral health
topics, including maintaining healthy dental diets and a course of
action to follow if a tooth is lost, and will be accompanied by basic
dental supplies to help incentivize usage. Clinic training sessions will
be recorded and available on SafetyNetCenter.org
– Americares open source library containing critical capacity-building
resources.

”Patients often believe there is a divide between mouth and body, when
evidence shows that oral health affects systemic health,” said Lindsay
O’Brien, Americares director of U.S. programs and partnerships. ”We are
helping healthcare providers teach proper dental hygiene and increase
patients’ understanding of the impact it will have on their overall
health.”

About Americares

Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that
responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing
health programs, medicine and medical supplies. Each year, Americares
reaches more than 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states with over $600
million in innovative health programs and quality medical aid.
Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine
and medical supplies. For more information, visit www.americares.org.

About Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation

Baxter and the Baxter International Foundation are committed to saving
and sustaining lives and creating healthier communities. Every day,
Baxter employees strive to make a meaningful difference in the lives of
people who depend on Baxter products, and in the communities where
employees live and work. The company focuses on three core areas
including improving access to healthcare; fostering tomorrow’s
innovation and serving its communities. Baxter works closely with public
and private partners around the world to ensure people have access to
the healthcare they need, to develop the next generation of innovators
who will lead the way in advancing care, and to create long-lasting
impact in Baxter’s communities. The Baxter International Foundation
supports initiatives and organizations that make a positive, lasting
impact on increasing access to healthcare for the disadvantaged and
underserved.

Contacts

Americares
Donna Porstner, (203) 658-9579
dporstner@americares.org
or
Baxter
Jori
Fine, (224) 948-5166
media@baxter.com