“The Awareness Campaign has made incredible inroads into the dental education universe, and if we keep the momentum going in 2016/17, we will save even more lives and erase more suffering."
Since developing the Awareness Campaign in 2013, the IPPF has reached thousands of dental professionals and students. A particularly successful aspect of the Awareness Campaign is the innovative Patient Educator Program, which sends pemphigus and pemphigoid (P/P) patients to dental schools across the US to share their stories of delayed diagnosis. These emotional stories compliment traditional lectures, encouraging students to remember P/P should they encounter symptoms in future practice. Since March 2014, IPPF Patient Educators have given 28 presentations at 14 different dental schools, reaching approximately 2,800 students and faculty.
“The Awareness Campaign has made incredible inroads into the dental education universe, and if we keep the momentum going in 2016/17, we will save even more lives and erase more suffering,” said Marcy Syms, President of the Sy Syms Foundation.
Pemphigus and pemphigoid are rare, autoimmune blistering diseases that affect a very small percentage of the population. The average patient with P/P sees five doctors over ten months in search of a diagnosis for their condition. Delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment can lead to a number of complications, including significant functional impairment, resistance to treatment, psychological stress, and a lower likelihood of achieving remission. The majority of P/P patients present with oral symptoms before the onset of skin lesions. Because of this, dentists have a unique opportunity to help shorten diagnosis times by identifying signs and symptoms when they are first encountered.
The Sy Syms Foundation was established in 1985 by retail entrepreneur and humanitarian, Sy Syms. His mission was to support education, and through his generosity the non-profit Foundation has effected the continued growth of many institutions of higher learning, medical research, and civic and cultural bodies. For more information on the Sy Syms Foundation, visit sysymsfoundation.org or call (201) 849-4417.