Henry Schein Inc.'s charitable arm and a dental fraternity Wednesday unveiled a program to provide free oral care worth an estimated $1 million for up to 300 Holocaust survivors in 2015 in nine North American regions, including Long Island.
The 3-year pilot program will offer dental care beginning in January to survivors receiving aid from social service agencies in New York City and the New York/New Jersey metropolitan areas as well as Philadelphia, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal and Toronto.
Partnering with Henry Schein Cares Foundation, the charitable arm of the Melville-based health care products distributor, is the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity, a Jewish dental and medical organization with chapters in 10 countries.
Stanley M. Bergman, chairman and chief executive of Henry Schein, said the program offers an opportunity "to improve the lives of this most deserving and vulnerable population."
Participants in the program will be screened based on financial need, lack of dental coverage and clinical factors: eliminating pain and restoring function.
"According to some reports, at least 25 percent of Holocaust survivors . . . living in the United States . . . [are] living in poverty," Vice President Joe Biden said Monday in an address to the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America. Biden called on volunteer organizations to provide badly needed services to aging survivors.
In January, the White House appointed a special envoy for U.S. Holocaust survivors to assess their needs.
Six million Jews were murdered by Nazi Germany and its collaborators in a systematic genocide, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Gypsies, Slavs, communists, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals and people with disabilities also were killed and persecuted.
Henry Schein is Long Island's largest publicly traded company based on revenue.