Henry Schein will distribute the FEMA-donated masks to dental schools and programs returning to providing patient care within the United States that request an allotment from the ADEA.

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA), Henry Schein Inc, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have joined forces for an initiative that will provide dental schools and allied dental education programs with KN95 masks to be used for patient care.

In response to COVID-19, ADEA worked with Henry Schein to coordinate FEMA’s donation of 3M-made KN95 masks to ADEA in support of the resumption of routine dental care and the delivery of oral health education services. The distribution of the much-needed masks comes as many dental schools and allied dental programs return to patient care, which has been significantly curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Henry Schein will distribute the FEMA-donated masks to dental schools and programs within the United States that request an allotment from the ADEA. Dental schools and allied dental programs that want masks are only being charged by ADEA for shipping and handling—not the masks themselves. Neither ADEA nor Henry Schein is profiting financially from this initiative.

“We believe this is a great example of how public and private organizations can join together to serve our community of dental educators and oral health professionals,” said ADEA president and CEO Karen West, DMD, MPH. “ADEA is committed to helping our member institutions, and the dental education community at large, successfully navigate the rapidly changing landscape before us. Providing these KN95 masks is one crucial step in supporting safe dental care. Working together, we can meet today’s challenges and further strengthen dental education.”

In total, ADEA and Henry Schein are distributing close to 3 million masks to 290 U.S. dental schools and allied dental programs.

“We are privileged that ADEA approached us for assistance to secure and distribute the KN95 masks to dental schools and dental education programs,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman and chief of Henry Schein Inc. “As part of Henry Schein’s dedication to ‘helping health happen,’ this partnership represents our mutual commitment to protect the health, safety, and well-being of students and faculty, as well as the patients they serve.”

The #Masks4DentEd initiative is ADEA’s latest effort to help its members and other stakeholders in academic dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic. ADEA has also created a complimentary online Pandemic Resource Guide for Dental Education that provides information and lists of resources related to student affairs and enrollment management. Additionally, the association has produced multiple webinars providing guidance for dental educators and administrators.

West expressed her gratitude to FEMA, for supplying the masks, and Henry Schein, for working with ADEA to distribute the masks to eligible U.S.-based schools and programs that request them.

“This project would not have been a success without the support of both FEMA and Henry Schein,” West said. “I thank them for their invaluable help and their commitment to the dental education community.”

ADEA members include all 78 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, more than 50 corporations and approximately 18,000 individuals. ADEA provides its members access to exclusive information and resources, as well as multiple leadership and professional development opportunities.