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One of the most shameful gaps in the American health care system involves the country’s poorest children. They can’t get basic dental treatment. It’s not that they don’t have insurance—many of them do. The problem is that dentists won’t treat them.


Louisville, KY – Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen announced Dec. 1 an innovative public/private partnership between Community Dental – a nonprofit of Kentucky and the University of Louisville Pediatrics to provide a multi-disciplinary health care home for Kentucky children enrolled in the Medicaid program.


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.


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.


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.


Today, Massachusetts-based DentaQuest Care Group and Alabama-based Sarrell Dental announced they are forming an affiliation to advance their shared mission to improve oral health. The affiliation between the two non-profits was fully supported by both organizations’ Boards of Directors. Both organizations have been leaders in exploring innovative ways of addressing the oral health crisis in America.


Three promising trends in innovation stand to bring health services within reach of patients that have traditionally struggled to access care. But these trends aren’t about new drugs or scientific discoveries—instead, they’re being driven by innovators who are employing creative business models to deliver heath services like never before.


It is not every day that local children get a chance to learn the game of basketball from University of Alabama basketball players, but on Saturday that was the case at the Sarrell Dental Center Basketball Camp.


Sarrell Dental Center of Anniston’s goal to serve low-income children recently earned it an international award and $15,000 to improve its services. Sarrell Dental on Wednesday won second place in a prize given to the most innovative health care models in the world.


Alabama Industries for the Deaf and Blind Monday will provide free dental service for children on Medicaid or without dental insurance.
Sarrell Dental Center is joining with AIDB to provide the service.


Dr. Warren Sarrell
Chief Medical Officer

(256) 741-7340
drsarrell@sarrelldental.org