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February 2019

3 women with award jpeg
DHS CEO Dr Deborah Cole and board chair Dr Zoe Wainer with award winner Dr Felicia Valianatos.

Oral health award stars shine

Victoria’s best and brightest dental professionals have been honoured with Public Oral Health Awards.

The awards, presented by Dental Health Services Victoria, recognise public oral health professionals, volunteers and organisations that go above and beyond to improve the health outcomes of those most in need of dental treatment.

Award winners were:

Star of public dentistry – Link Health and Community’s Felicia Valianatos. Dr Valianatos has implemented numerous community dental programs supporting vulnerable clients to overcome barriers to better oral health, including Special Needs Outreach and Keeping Kids Smiling;

Oral health project of the year – DHSV with IPC Health and DPV Health’s silver diamine fluoride project. A Victorian-first study, with more than 400 children aged between two and 10, investigated the use of SDF to fight decay and reduce dental hospitalisations in Victorian children;

Clinic of the year – Bendigo Health. BHDS has implemented a range of initiatives promoting good oral health and overcoming barriers for community members including Population Health Approach Collaborating, dental screenings for all primary schools, kindergartens and early learning centres, fluoride varnish application and community aged care screenings.

Community oral health champion – Echuca Regional Health Service’s Jacinta Masters. Smiles 4 Miles co-ordinator Ms Masters worked passionately to engage early learning services in high risk areas, including Aboriginal childcare centre, Berrimba. She collaborated with VACCHO on nutritional menu development and policy reviews, supporting Berrimba to achieve its Smiles 4 Miles award.