CDHP chair appointed to Medicaid/CHIP panel

U.S. Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro has appointed Burton Edelstein, D.D.S., M.P.H., founder and chair of the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP), to serve on a panel overseeing the government's health insurance programs for the indigent.

Dr. Edelstein, a pediatric dentist and Columbia University clinical professor, will serve until December 2011 on the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Reauthorization Act of 2009 established MACPAC to review Medicaid and CHIP access and payment policies and to advise Congress on issues affecting Medicaid and CHIP.

"I am tremendously honored to be asked to serve on the Commission," Dr. Edelstein said. "I look forward to working with the distinguished members of this panel to fulfill the important mission of MACPAC in ensuring that Medicaid and CHIP implementation succeed at the highest level."

CDHP advocates for "equity in children's oral health." It has forged partnerships with the National Oral Health Policy Center (supported by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Oral Health.

Dr. Edelstein's extensive background includes private pediatric dental practice in< Connecticut and 21 years of teaching experience in pediatric dentistry and oral health policy at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He served as a 1996-97 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in the office of U.S. Senate minority leader Tom Daschle, with primary responsibility for CHIP's predecessor, the State Children's Health Insurance Program.

Dr. Edelstein worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on its oral health initiatives from 1998 to 2001, chaired the U.S. Surgeon General's Workshop on Children and Oral Health, and authored the child section of Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General.

He received his degree in dentistry from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York School of Dentistry and his master's degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

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