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From: Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund By: Press Release Jeffrey Parker, Sarrell Dental Centers’ Chairman of the Board, Earns Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund’s Special Recognition Award Philadelphia, PA – October 30, 2014 – The Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund …

An $85,000 gift in honor of Mrs. Lela Sarrell, widow of the late cardiologist and Sarrell Dental founder Dr. Warren Sarrell, has retrofitted the auditorium in JSU’s nursing building to better serve a tech-savvy generation of students.
The space, renamed the Lela Sarrell Learning Center, is located in Room 200 of Lurleen B. Wallace Hall on the JSU campus. Dozens of nursing students and faculty were on hand on Friday, September 26, 2014 as JSU administrators and Mr. Jeffrey Parker, chief executive officer of DentaQuest Healthcare Delivery that provided the donation, made the presentation to Mrs. Sarrell and her family.

No. I’m not much of a Civil War buff, so I’m not referring to the “War of Attempted Secession” [As Walt Whitman termed it] here, although there is some revealing dental history tied to the Civil War. In the mid-19 century, the dental health of the general population was poor, most people seeing a dentist only to have a troublesome tooth extracted. Surprisingly, with the outbreak of the war in 1861, some measure of dental health was a requirement for recruits in both sides — for the Union, it was to have six opposing upper and lower front teeth, for the Confederacy it was only four. The requirement had nothing to do with ability to eat army chow in the field; instead, the rule was instituted because a man had to have enough opposing incisors (the front teeth) so he could tear open the cardboard cartridge to pour powder down the barrel of his rifle.

Medicaid was created to help bring essential healthcare services to the poor, but millions of children and youth who are enrolled in this government program still do not receive dental care. The system is in place, but from the perspective of many dental practices, treating Medicaid patients does not appear to be a sound business practice. As a result, these practices simply do not see such patients.

Newly elected Ashoka Fellow Jeff Parker sought to fill the gaps left by business and government through a unique social enterprise model that seeks to revolutionize the way the business of dentistry is handled. In this interview with Ashoka, he argues that treating Medicaid patients is a financially viable practice.

The chairman of the Anniston-based nonprofit Sarrell Dental Center was recently selected as one of five of the most creative social entrepreneurs in the nation for his work in meeting the dental needs of underserved poor children.

In this article you’ll meet five social entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of some of the U.S.’s most pertinent social problems. Through their content, tools, and organizational structure, they stay relevant to their constituents – making them active participants in spreading a solution, rather than recipients of a service. Like the many Ashoka Fellows before them, their work helps illuminate these problems through a refreshing lens of solutions and progress.

Dr. interviewed Jeffrey Parker, CEO of DentaQuest Healthcare Delivery. Parker, who recently became the first person associated with dentistry to make the annual HealthLeaders20 list, has long been cited for his work with Sarrell Dental in bringing dental care to 300,000 children annually at its 15 clinics across Alabama. Sarrell remains the largest single provider of Medicaid dental services in Alabama.

In the December 2013 issue of HealthLeaders Magazine titled “HealthLeaders20,” Jeffrey Parker was selected as one of the twenty individuals who are changing healthcare for the better. Parker is the first ever to be selected from the dental field. The only other Alabama resident who has ever been named in the HealthLeaders20 is the famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrew.

A former secretary of Health and Human Services under a Republican president supports President Obama’s health care reform law, saying it is similar to a Republican-backed plan he helped develop 20 years ago. Dr. Louis Sullivan, the HHS secretary under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, said Friday during a visit to Anniston that despite its flaws, the Affordable Care Act will benefit millions of uninsured, low-income Americans. Sullivan visited Anniston to tour the Sarrell Dental Center to learn how the facility provides affordable care to low-income children.

Anniston-based Sarrell Dental Center announces a new affiliation with Massachusetts-based DentaQuest. The affiliation aims to provide better oral care to more Americans. Sarrell Dental operates 15 clinics across the state to serve children from low-income families. DentaQuest works to improve better oral health for low-income families, including those living in Alabama. Jeffrey Parker will continue serving as the CEO of Sarrell Dental while also acting as the CEO of DentaQuest’s health care delivery. The affiliation will not affect the staffing at the Sarrell Dental Centers across the state.

Dr. Warren Sarrell
Chief Medical Officer

(256) 741-7340