Director, Oral Health Advocacy & Policy Initiatives, NYU College of Dentistry
Ms. Barbie Vartanian is the Director of Oral Health Advocacy and Policy Initiatives at the NYU College of Dentistry. As the nation’s largest dental school, NYU College of Dentistry is uniquely poised to lead advocacy and policy advancements for those with disabilities. The NYU College of Dentistry’s Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities (OHCPD) addresses a major public health challenge by providing comprehensive, compassionate dental care for people with a full range of disabilities who experience significant barriers to accessing care. Ms. Vartanian will leverage the work of OHCPD to address the disparities and ensure equitable health outcomes for individuals with disabilities.
Prior to her role at NYU, Ms. Vartanian held the role of Executive Director, Project Accessible Oral Health, a global initiative focused on improving the health equity of the more than 61 million individuals living with a physical or intellectual disability.
Ms. Vartanian also led the Pacific Dental Services Foundation. She was instrumental in the development of a training program for dental professionals that focuses on improving the access and overall care for individuals with special needs.
Her most important role is mother to her son with Autism. She understands firsthand the barriers he faces and will continue to face throughout his life. Once Sam was diagnosed, she knew she needed to do something more, to be his voice, his advocate, and his champion!
She also sits on the boards of several non-profit organizations such as the NYU College of
Dentistry Center for People with Disabilities Advisory Board, CareQuest Pandemic Response Group, ECLC of New Jersey, Positive Exposures, Concorde Career College National Advisory Board, Hackensack Meridian Health Autism Center Committee, The Center for Oral Health, OPEN National Response Team on Disability and Inclusion, COVID-19 Public-Private Partner Dental Coordination Group and multiple state oral health coalitions and taskforces on disability and oral health.