ROCKVILLE – June 20, 2013 – JSSA (Jewish Social Service Agency) in partnership with the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity’s public service arm, the Alpha Omega Foundation; the Maimonides Dental Society of Greater Washington and the Claims Conference have helped about 80 JSSA Holocaust survivor clients in the Washington, DC area receive free dental care since June 2011.
Holocaust survivors are facing severe oral health challenges, which have grown more serious as they age. Because their Holocaust experiences can trigger traumatic memories, some survivors are wary of interacting with medical personnel, and may not seek medical attention as often as needed. Dental care is expensive and would be unattainable for many survivors without the participation of the dentists in the Alpha Omega Foundation and Maimonides Dental Society. As part of the program, dental fees are waived and lab fees are donated, vastly reduced, or covered by JSSA with the help of grants from the Claims Conference.
In order to be a JSSA client, Holocaust survivors must meet certain income and asset guideline requirements. What started off as a pilot program is now a national model with Southern Florida’s recent successful launch of its own pro bono dental program modeled largely after the JSSA program. The just published article posted on the Claims Conference website, “Pro Bono Dental Program Helps Washington-area Holocaust Survivors” offers more information about the program.
On Tuesday, July 23, JSSA will honor the wonderful work of their pro bono dentists at a cocktail reception at the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. For more information about the pro bono dentist program or other JSSA Holocaust survivor support services, please call 301-816-2647.