College of Dentistry honored with Center of Excellence Award

Liberty Dental Plan Center of Excellence Award

UIC’s Dr. Robert Barish (far left) and Dr. Clark Stanford (center left) accept the Center of Excellence award from Illinois Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (center right) and Liberty’s Judy Bowlby (far right). (Photo: Chris Bevel)

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry was presented with the Center of Excellence Award from Liberty Dental Plan Sept. 19. To mark the occasion, leaders from the university and the college met with administrators from Liberty and with Illinois Sen. Patricia Van Pelt.

Van Pelt presented the award, along with Judy Bowlby, Liberty senior manager of government programs.

The College of Dentistry, which is located in Van Pelt’s district, was selected to receive the award for consistently demonstrating a commitment and dedication to quality care, and for its service to patients on Medicaid. Liberty selects Centers of Excellence through a rigorous evaluation process that includes reviews of safety and compliance, appropriate delivery of dental services and high patient satisfaction, among other criteria.

“On behalf of our Liberty team, I wish to congratulate the UIC College of Dentistry and we look forward to a long and quality relationship to improve oral health and the lives of Illinois’s most vulnerable Medicaid population,” said Dr. Amir Neshat, a founder of Liberty Dental Plan. “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.”

UIC’s Dr. Robert Barish, vice chancellor for health affairs, and Dr. Clark Stanford, dean of the College of Dentistry, accepted the award.

“The UIC College of Dentistry is honored to be recognized as a Center of Excellence by Liberty Dental Plan and Senator Van Pelt for our commitment and dedication to excellence in the delivery of oral health care to the underserved,” Standford said. “This recognition is an affirmation of our commitment to changing the future of oral health. We are grateful for this recognition and for our faculty, students and staff whose outstanding work have earned us this significant achievement.”

The college is the largest dental Medicaid provider in the State of Illinois, providing more than 70,000 appointments to patients enrolled in the State Dental Medicaid program annually. Nearly 60 percent of those appointments are for children.