Mario is a lifelong New Yorker and US Veteran who desperately needed extensive dental care that he could not afford. That’s where the Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) stepped in. Through their New York Donated Dental Services (DDS) program, Mario was connected to Dr. Ben Ganjian who donated his time and vast experience to help restore Mario’s oral health.
Dr. Ganjian’s work with Mario gave him the opportunity to really get to know him and the real life challenges and joys faced by veterans. He learned that Mario is not only a veteran, but a retired New York City police officer who enjoys caring for his grandchildren, helping neighbors, and playing pool with friends at the local community center.
Dr. Ganjian found it the most gratifying experience of his professional career. “Over the course of a dozen visits that included cleaning, several extractions, fillings, and partial upper and lower dentures, I am so proud to say that I helped give this hero his smile back. I will never forget when Mario shared that his grandkids told him they loved his new smile! It was an honor and a pleasure to give back to someone who gave us so much.” Donate
Mario is just like 90% of New York City’s 210,000 veterans who are not eligible for dental care through the VA. The VA requires veterans to be 70% disabled and for their disability to be service-related in order to qualify for coverage. That’s where YOU can help.
On Veterans Day, the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City launched “Stars + Smiles,” a pilot program designed to provide 125 veterans with severe dental issues like Mario’s with free dental care through DLN’s network of professionals. Guardian Life—our seed funder—and concerned New Yorkers like you have gotten us nearly halfway to our goal! Donate During this holiday season of giving, I hope you will consider donating to the Stars + Smiles program. Your contribution today has the power to transform lives by providing fellow New Yorkers who served our country with the care they deserve and a confident smile to face a future full of opportunities.
Yours in partnership, Deputy Mayor NYC.