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A Provider's Guide to Fluoride Varnish Applications

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Tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood disease. In children ages 6 to 11 years old, it is ­­­five times more common than asthma and four times ­­­more common than obesity. ­­­ Medical providers are the first line of defense against illness and disease in our children. You can, and should, play a role in keeping your patients’ smi­­­­les h­­­­ealthy. Applying fluoride varnish during routine well visits is becoming a standard of care in pediatrics nationwide. From a very early age, it provides the most effective protection against tooth decay for children 6 months to 5 years old.

If you care for patients 6 months to 5 years old, please join us for A Provider’s Guide to Fluoride Varnish Applications. This webinar, led by a panel of medical and dental providers of the Louisiana Oral Health Coalition, will provide valuable information on becoming Smiles For Life certified to apply fluoride varnish.

A healthy child is a happy child. When medical providers incorporate preventive dental services at well visits, their smiles can be healthy, too.

To join the webinar, click here:

For audio: Conference Number: 515-604-9000 // Participant Code: 370791

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Meet The Panelists

Diane M. Kirby, M.D. FAAP

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Diane attended the University of New Orleans and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology in 1992. She attended LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans where she was presented the Herbert B. Rothschild, M.D. Outstanding Student in Pediatrics Award and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society during her fourth year. She completed her pediatric residency at LSU’s University and Children’s Hospital campuses in New Orleans in 1999. After one year in private practice, Diane returned to LSU as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, teaching medical students and residents while caring for patients in the emergency department. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she transferred to LSU’s Department of Pediatrics in Baton Rouge, then entered private pediatric practice with St. Elizabeth Physicians in Gonzales, LA. In August 2010, she began her current position as medical director of Our Lady of the Lake Pediatric Residency Program’s Academic Clinic in Baton Rouge. She has interests in pediatric obesity and oral health, and has been a member of the Oral Health Coalition since the fall of 2010.

One area of focus is on education of children, their caregivers, medical providers and the community, on issues related to oral health. Diane has provided training for her pediatric residents to screen for oral health risks; refer to dental providers; educate on proper oral hygiene and prevention of decay; and apply fluoride varnish. She is eager to expand the reach of the Coalition’s work via technologies and direct outreach, and by developing tools for citizens of Louisiana to help improve oral health in our state.

Tahisa P. Colbert, DDS, MBA

Dr. Colbert’s dental roots were established over 25 years ago, when she was inspired by her childhood community healthcare dentist to pursue the profession as a career. Upon completing her undergraduate studies in biology at Jackson State University, she obtained her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Opportunity brought her to Southwest Louisiana, where she began her professional career in community healthcare. In the position of dental director, she collaborated efforts with fellow colleagues, board members, and other organizational officials to coordinate activities that surmounted dental challenges within the community. She played a key role in obtaining federal and state funding through grant initiatives to support these efforts, resulting in improved oral healthcare access.

Over the past two decades, Dr. Colbert further expanded her capabilities through volunteerism. She has participated in a plethora of outreach projects, which included health fairs, school-based programs such as Head-Start, Doctors with a Heart Migrant Workers scheme, Special Olympics, and Give Kids a Smile, a national program sponsored by the American Dental Association. Her most recent venture was a mission trip to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as a team member of 30 dentists who provided over one million dollars in free dental implant surgery to its citizens.

Dr. Colbert transitioned from community-based dentistry to private practice to further enhance her clinical proficiencies. Her passion for knowledge and the desire to enhance her abilities to aid the community through advocacy prompted her to continue her educational journey through The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in which she earned a Masters of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis in healthcare.

She has always been an activist for oral healthcare and has a willingness to fight against the existing disparity through professional affiliations. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, for which she is slated to achieve fellowship status in the very near future, a recognized mark of distinction amongst her colleagues as a highly competent clinician. Dr. Colbert is a member of the American Dental Association, and its local component, the Acadiana District Dental Association. She has served as a board member for Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center(SWLAHEC) since 2002 (emeritus status granted 2012) and previously chaired the oral health module of former Governor Kathleen Babineaux-Blanco’s Healthcare Reform Panel, representing Region IV. She was recognized as a leader by the National Association of University Women and was honored as a “Woman of Excellence”. She was recently appointed by Governor John Bel Edwards to the Fluoridation Advisory Board for the state of Louisiana and serves as co-chairman. She is also a member of the Louisiana Oral Health Coalition.

Dr. Colbert maintains a private practice in Broussard, Louisiana where she enjoys serving her community, one smile at a time.

Robert E. Barsley, DDS, JD

Barsley is a 1977 graduate of the LSU School of Dentistry who practiced general dentistry in Ponchatoula until 1982. Leaving private practice in 1982, he joined the faculty of the LSU School of Dentistry, advancing to the rank of Professor and continuing to treat patients through the school’s Faculty Practice into the mid-1990s. A member of the Department of Diagnostic Sciences, he also serves the School of Dentistry as Director of Oral Health Resources and Community Dentistry. He is a former Chairman of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention, and Interprofessional Relations – one of that Council’s major goals has been to promote the use of fluoride to improve oral health for all persons.

He is a past president of the LDA and is currently the LDA Secretary/Treasurer. He served for eight years as a Commissioner on the Louisiana Health Care Commission as a representative for the LDA. Dr. Barsley has also served as Acting State Dental Director of the Louisiana Office of Public Health and as the Chief Compliance Office for the LSU Health Sciences Center.

Bob was recently named to a six-year term as one of the five Commissioners of the North Oaks Health System and Public Hospital in Hammond. In December 2015 he was a member of Governor John Bel Edwards’ healthcare transition team.

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