Boy's Death From Tooth Infection Spurs New Effort

August 8, 2007

The death of boy from a tooth infection that spread to his brain has helped to initiate an agreement between University of Maryland's Dental School and a healthcare company to improve pediatric dental services for low income families in the state.

Dr. Norman Tinanoff, the dental school chairman, and Dr. Allen Finkelstein, chief dental officer of Americhoice, a UnitedHealth Group company, signed an agreement Wednesday.

Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old Prince George's County boy, died February 25 after two operations and six weeks of hospital care, long after he first had trouble with his tooth.

Under the agreement, AmeriChoice will provide the dental school with more than $170,000 each year for new services and programs designed to make it easier for children to receive dental care.

Congressman Elijah Cummings has introduced a measure called Deamonte's Law, which would increase dental services in community
health centers and train more people in pediatric dentistry.

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