KinderSmile Foundation Hosts 2019 SMILE! Awards at Clara Maass Medical Center with First Lady of New Jersey Tammy Murphy as Featured Keynote Speaker

Event held to honor low income pregnant and newly postpartum women empowered to take charge of their oral health.

KinderSmile Awards at Clara Maass Medical Center
In photo (LtR): Frank Mazzarella, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Clara Maass Medical Center; Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Clara Maass Medical Center; New Jersey’s First Lady Tammy Snyder Murphy; Nicole McGrath-Barnes, DDS, Founder and CEO, KinderSmile Foundation; Annette Cozzarelli-Franklin, MD, Director, Women’s Health Services, Clara Maass Medical Center and Darwin K. Hayes, DDS MHA FAGD, State of New Jersey Dental Director

Belleville, NJ – The KinderSmile Foundation (KSF), a nonprofit pediatric dental home and community outreach center based in Bloomfield, NJ, serving the oral health needs of uninsured, underserved children (0-17 yrs.), held its inaugural SMILE! Awards on October 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Clara Maass Medical Center, a facility of RWJBarnabas Health.

The SMILE! Awards honored twenty pregnant and postpartum moms from Essex County, primarily Bloomfield, Belleville, Newark, East Orange, Nutley and Montclair, who have graduated from KinderSmile Foundation’s Perinatal Health and Wellness Program. The program empowers expecting and new mothers to take charge of their oral health and that of their newborns, infants and children by linking them to a nonprofit pediatric dental home where they can receive ongoing treatment, education and preventive care.

“Giving birth is an exciting time, especially for the graduates of the perinatal and wellness program. Thanks to the KinderSmile Foundation, new and expecting mothers are empowered to improve their health — including their oral health for themselves, their new babies and their entire families and we are grateful to have such a meaningful and rewarding partnership with The KinderSmile Foundation” said Dr. Mary Ellen Clyne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clara Maass Medical Center.

The First Lady of the State of New Jersey Tammy Snyder Murphy participated in the program as the keynote speaker as awards presenter and recipient. The First Lady is a supporter of the KinderSmile Foundation and its proactive, preventive approach to eradicating dental disease in low-income communities, and of oral health equity in general. In addition, Darwin Hayes, DDS MHA FAGD, New Jersey’s first state dental director in 30 years, addressed the oral health needs of all New Jersey residents, including vulnerable populations during the program.

The KinderSmile Perinatal Health & Wellness Program is held at its pediatric dental home year-round, and to date, approximately 180 women have graduated. The next step for KinderSmile Foundation is to identify and partner with women’s health providers in Essex County to reach a broader audience of qualifying moms.

“By linking expecting and newly postpartum moms who are uninsured and do not meet the qualifications of NJ FamilyCare and Medicaid, their newborns and their children to our nonprofit pediatric dental home, we can be proactive about oral health and break the dangerous, generational cycle of untreated dental disease,” says Nicole McGrath-Barnes, DDS, Founder and CEO, KinderSmile Foundation.

“We couldn’t think of a better partner or place to start than Clara Maass Medical Center, and it takes a village to treat underserved patients, and Mary Ellen Clyne, Ph.D., President, and CEO; Frank Mazzarella, MD, CHCQM, Chief Medical Officer; and, Annette Cozzarelli-Franklin, MD, Medical Director, Women’s Health Clinic at Clara Maass Medical Center intuitively understand the power of leveraging community partnerships to address health issues and life stressors” said Dr. McGrath-Barnes.

About the KinderSmile Foundation

The KinderSmile Foundation provides underserved children and moms with access to comprehensive dental care and educates children and their families on the importance of dental hygiene.

About Clara Maass Medical Center

Located in Belleville, NJ, Clara Maass Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, provides a complete continuum of care to residents of northern New Jersey. Clara Maass recently completed state-of-the-art campus expansion project featuring a new four-story 87,000 square foot building with a private Intensive Care Unit, new Main Entrance and Lobby, Retail Pharmacy, Patient Registration Area and designated new space to accommodate our future Emergency Department expansion. Clara Maass’ services include: The Cancer Center, Center for Breast Health and Disease Management, Radiation Oncology, Infusion Therapy, Cardiac Services Elective and Emergency Angioplasty and Cardiac Rehabilitation, The Pain Management Center, The Joint & Spine Institute, a Vascular Lab, The Vein Center, The Wound Center, The Center for Sleep Disorders, The Bariatric Surgery Center, Rehabilitation; Therapy Services which includes, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, The Eye Surgery Center, Maternity Services and Parent Education, Pediatrics, Center of Excellence for Latino Health, and the Health and Wellness Center. Clara Maass has been recognized with twelve Grade ‘A’ scores for patient safety and quality by The Leapfrog Group. It is listed by the American Hospital Association as one of Healthcare’s Most Wired hospitals. In 2016-17 Clara Maass has received the Healthgrades Obstetrics and Gynecology Excellence Award and the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award. Clara Maass received Disease Specific Care Certification from the Joint Commission for Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS), Congestive Heart Failure, Hip Replacement, Knee Replacement, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. Clara Maass earned Clara Maass’ steadfast commitment to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves is exemplified through award winning programs including the nationally recognized HELP Volunteer program, recipient of the American Hospital Association 2017 HAVE Award, and the Wellness Assessment Van for Elders (WAVE) which was recognized as the New Jersey Hospital Association’s 2017 HRET Community Outreach Award. For a physician referral or more information about Clara Maass, call 1-888-724-7123 or visit

Stacie J. Newton
Office: 973-450-2989
Mobile: 201-424-9678