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Rebuilding after the hurricanes: Practitioners seek assistance at recovery symposium

October 16, 2017

By Kimber Solana


Teamwork: More than 60 dentists, physicians and veterinarians affected by recent hurricanes met with experts and officials who can help them restore and reopen their practices during a Sept. 23 symposium. From left to right, Dr. Jose Cazares; Texas Dental Association president; Dr. Rita Cammarata, TDA interim executive director; Chris Lee, Henry Schein dental technology specialist; Angie Smith, Henry Schein field sales consultant; Ryan Hesse, Henry Schein, field sales consultant; Chris Malzone, Henry Schein field sales consultant; Katie Simutis, Henry Schein dental technology specialist; Mike Herrin, Henry Schein regional manager; Randall McLemore, Henry Schein dental technology specialist; Michele Penrose, Henry Schein director of global relations; Dr. Bill Gerlach, TDA incoming president; Steve Kess, Henry Schein vice president of global relations; Dr. John Valenza, dean of the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston; Javier Lozano, Henry Schein field sales consultant.
Houston — More than 60 dentists, physicians and veterinarians affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma met with experts and officials who can help them restore and reopen their practices during a Sept. 23 symposium.

“Everyone was in one place. Instead of spending hours on the phone, they were able to speak face-to-face with disaster recovery experts, including representatives from [the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Association], and ask questions,” said Dr. Rita Cammarata, immediate past president of the Texas Dental Association and its interim executive director.

“It was a great way to show our members that organized dentistry is there for them in their time of need.”

The event, “Recovery Empowerment Symposium: Emerging from the Storm,” was organized in response to the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma by the Texas Dental Association and about a dozen health and dental care organizations. It was sponsored by Henry Schein, Inc. and was held at the Denton A. Cooley, M.D. and Ralph C. Cooley, D.D.S. University Life Center.

The event was streamed live. To view a webcast of the symposium, which is available on demand online, visit the Henry Schein’s Road to Recovery Resource Center at henryschein.com/us-en/Corporate/Areas_HumanitarianRelief.aspx.

Those who attended met with experts from the insurance, legal, claims management and disaster recovery industries, as well as dental, medical and animal health professional associations, to discuss a range of topics related to their personal and professional recovery.

These topics included how to receive assistance from federal agencies, such as FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration; access insurance carriers; work with banks, financial services and suppliers; and enhance employee morale and stay in touch with patients.

“Many of them just wanted to know the next steps for them to return to their practice,” said Dr. Cammarata, who added that there were about five representatives from FEMA who helped answer questions. “They wanted to know how to apply for funds that are available for them to start rebuilding.”

The symposium was held in partnership with the American Dental Association, ADA Foundation, American Medical Association Foundation, American Veterinary Medical Foundation, National Dental Association and the Greater Houston Dental Society, Texas Dental Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation, and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Dentistry.

“Overall, it was a good day,” Dr. Cammarata said. “We were able to impart some very valuable information to help our members.”