Barbie Vartanian will spearhead the Center’s new initiative focused on steering a global coalition to tackle the top healthcare crisis facing the disability community.
The Viscardi Center today announced that Barbie Vartanian, formerly of the Pacific Dental Services Foundation, will be the first executive director of the Center’s new Project Accessible Oral Health initiative focused on leading a global consortium of stakeholders to tackle the leading healthcare crisis of the disability community: inferior, unequal access to culturally competent oral healthcare.
“Barbie is highly accomplished and results-driven. She has pioneered initiatives that have enhanced the care of the underserved and transformed the way people with cognitive disabilities receive treatment by dental professionals,” said John D. Kemp, President and CEO of The Viscardi Center and Chairman of Project Accessible Oral Health. “We are fortunate to have her in this leadership role to help make change happen for the more than 57 million people with disabilities in this country who, for many years, have unjustly been denied or unable to access quality oral healthcare that can have a direct impact on overall health. For those of us with a disability, this healthcare crisis has persisted for too long. Together with our extensive group of dedicated partners, we will work to improve the delivery of competent oral healthcare for the disability community. The fact that Barbie has a young son with autism makes her an even greater advocate with insight, empathy and passion to drive these needed changes. This is also personal for her. ”
In her new role, Ms. Vartanian will lead Project Accessible Oral Health’s mission to connect multiple stakeholders from across medical, dental, education, political and public sectors to act as a collective catalyst for action, moving the needle on policy, education and raising much-needed awareness of this crisis.
In 2013, Ms. Vartanian was chosen to lead the newly formed Pacific Dental Services Foundation [PDS Foundation]. She was instrumental in the development of their four key pillars that included international missions, education scholarships, mobile dental clinics and most significantly the development of an advocacy and training program for dental professionals that focuses on improving the access and overall care for individuals with special needs. Through her efforts she elevated the Foundation’s visibility and success in multiple areas including fundraising, employee engagement, global public/private partnerships, non-profit coalitions, and media relations. Prior to her role as head of the PDS Foundation, Ms. Vartanian spent more than a decade in field operations with Pacific Dental and has an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the dental industry. She also held management positions in the retail sector, specializing in operational efficiencies and implementation of successful internal communication tactics to improve overall business performance.
About Project Accessible Oral Health
Under The Viscardi Center’s network of 501(c)(3) organizations, Project Accessible Oral Health is a global public-private partnership and the first to nationally assemble and connect a consortium of dental and medical professionals, corporations, organizations, policymakers, educators, people with disabilities, caregivers, and other stakeholders in pursuit of equal access to culturally competent oral healthcare. The Project’s mission is to act as a collective catalyst for change that will not only improve access to oral healthcare, but also ultimately improve the overall health of the disability community. Project Accessible Oral Health’s founders include John D. Kemp, President and CEO of The Viscardi Center, Steve W. Kess, Vice President of Global Professional Relations, Henry Schein, Inc. and Co-Founder of Henry Schein Cares and Dr. Mark Wolff, Morton Amsterdam Dean at Penn Dental Medicine.
About The Viscardi Center
Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. Presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center educates, employs and empowers people with disabilities. It provides K-12 education (up to age 21), school-to-work youth transition services, vocational training, career counseling and employment placement, assistive technology, and adapted driver education to children, adolescents, and adults with a wide variety of disabilities. The Viscardi Center also assists businesses in diversifying their workforces, and developing and advancing inclusive cultures in their workplaces.