By Michael Goldrosen
BPHC’s HIV Dental Program helps people in Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire who are living with HIV to get quality dental care.
For the past five and a half years, Helene Bednarsh, the program’s director, has worked with a special federal grant to evaluate how well dental programs for persons living with HIV are working. She has been part of a team at the Boston University School of Public Health and some of their findings have just been published in a journal called Public Health Reports.
The article, “Innovations in Oral Health Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS”, shows that innovative program models – like the program we run at BPHC – can really help people who are living with HIV/AIDS find oral health-care services. The articles in this special issue present valuable and cutting-edge information that can help improve public health services across the country, including advocating for the continuation of Ryan White Program funding.
Helene Bednarsh has been with the Boston Public Health Commission since 1990, first as a consultant to the Office of Oral Health then Program Manager of the HIV Dental Program. She was promoted to Director of the HIV Dental Program in 1993. Over the past two decades, Helene has lectured on and advocated for quality oral health care for people living with HIV/AIDS locally, nationally, and internationally.
Over her career, Helene has published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 46 columns on infection control, exposure management and HIV related issues, 16 chapters/modules in text books and is co-author of the OSAP Interact: Infection Control and Safety Training System and Videos (1993, 1999, 2000). Helene is also the Dental Director for the New England AIDS Education and Training Center, and she is Vice President for infection control for www.hivdent.org, a site dedicated to issues relative to HIV, oral health, infection control and more.
We are so lucky to have someone as experienced, talented, and caring as Helene on our team, working every day to make the lives of people living with HIV in our area better. Thank you for all your hard work, Helene!
Michael is the director of our HIV/AIDS Services Division, and today is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. Learn more here.