Dr. Kathy Shafer, SIU SDM interim assistant dean for clinical affairs; Ken Holbert, SIU SDM associate dean and executive director for administration; Elizabeth Phelps, SIU SDM manager of business affairs; Sen. William Haine; SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook; Bruce Rotter, SIU SDM dean; Judy Bowlby, LIBERTY senior manager of government programs; Kelly Pulliam, LIBERTY director of provider relations; Greg Horta, Harmony community relations specialist.

ALTON - LIBERTY Dental Plan has recognized the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine (SIU SDM) with its Center of Excellence Award for the second consecutive year. Judy Bowlby, LIBERTY senior manager of government programs, presented the award on the SDM’s Alton campus Tuesday, Sept. 25.

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During the past three years, LIBERTY has worked closely with community dentists, who consistently have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to quality care, and recognizes outstanding dental providers with its Center of Excellence Award.

LIBERTY selects Centers of Excellence through a rigorous evaluation process that includes reviews of office safety and compliance, appropriate delivery of dental services compared to regional utilization patterns, high member satisfaction which leads to loyalty and continuity of care, access and availability of appointments, and low member grievances and complaints.

“The Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine is honored to be recognized by LIBERTY for the second consecutive year for our commitment to patient care,” said SDM Dean Bruce Rotter, DMD, MS. “The mission of the School of Dental Medicine is to educate dentists and improve the oral health of the region through patient care, research, scholarship and service. Recognition by LIBERTY Dental for our dedicated efforts to fulfill this mission encourages us along this path. We will continue to strive to provide the highest quality patient care possible, while educating the practitioners of the future.”

Joining Rotter in accepting the award were Senator William Haine (D-IL, 56th District); SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook; Kathy Shafer, SDM interim assistant dean for clinical affairs; Ken Holbert, SDM associate dean, executive director for administration, finance and operations; and Elizabeth Phelps, SDM manager of business affairs.

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“I am proud to see the SIU School of Dental Medicine receive this distinguished award,” said Sen. Haine. “The school is highly deserving of this honor as it is certainly a ‘Center of Excellence.’ The dental school has been one of my priorities as a senator, and the state investment has returned to the citizens many extraordinary benefits, including a first rate campus for a first rate faculty and student body. I am honored to represent such an outstanding school that trains future dentists who will go on to be at the top of their field.”

LIBERTY Dental Plan is a full-service dental benefits company that has been providing dental services to Medicaid beneficiaries across the U.S. since 2008 and in Illinois since 2014, when the State of Illinois authorized the Medicaid dental managed care program. LIBERTY administers dental benefits for its Illinois medical plan partners including Harmony and NextLevel Health Plans.

“LIBERTY is committed to providing quality dental benefits with a focus on total body care that will lead to happier and healthier lives for Illinois Medicaid members,” said Dr. Amir Neshat, LIBERTY’s founder.

“LIBERTY is only able to administer quality oral healthcare through our partnership with Illinois dental providers,” Neshat stated. “We recognize that the best patient care comes from a network of local dentists, who have proven their commitment to providing appropriate and timely care for the community they serve.

“On behalf of our LIBERTY team, I wish to congratulate the SIU School of Dental Medicine. We look forward to a long and quality relationship to improve oral health and the lives of Illinois’ most vulnerable Medicaid population.”

The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton, Edwardsville and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These opportunities provide students the training they need to graduate and become highly skilled dentists. The School of Dental Medicine is a vital oral health care provider for residents of southern and central Illinois, and the St. Louis metropolitan region.

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