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01 July
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Building an online market for dental equipment

With eBay.com attracting more business buyers, Atlas Resell Management has used that traffic to build a niche selling used dental chairs and refurbished equipment for dentistry offices.

EBay wasnt always so attractive to business buyers, but in recent years it has developed far beyond a bazaar-type site for consumers seeking general merchandise, trinkets and collectibles to a marketplace where businesses buy what they need to run their operations, says Mason Fuller, founder and CEO of Atlas.

The comfort level with enterprise-level shoppers is such that its become mainstream, says Fuller, who started Atlas to sell used and refurbished business equipment on eBay.com when he left college 12 year ago. He has since focused his business on buying and selling dental equipment.

Its been a great partnership over the years, he says. More buyers than in the past are going to eBay to find business and industrial goods, as eBay has evolved from being a collectables and retail-oriented, consumer-oriented marketplace to really kind of a behemoth in the business-and-industrial space, he says.

Fuller says Atlas Resell Management, based in Boise, Idaho, has also been testing sales on Amazon.com for three or four years and is now experimenting with expanding sales on the Amazon Business marketplace. But hes not yet convinced that the structure or the types of sales that are done on Amazon are right for his business.

Thats because Atlas sells many unique dental chairs and other items in small quantities, without offering the ability to order in bulk as many Amazon buyers may prefer, Fuller says. Instead, Atlas uses Amazon for some of its products to test how they sell. We sell a little bit on Amazon just experimentally, he says, we dont have a depth of SKUs, because every dental chair is a little bit different, he adds.

Fuller says that some of his refurbished equipment may sell better on Amazon, an option Atlas is considering. Still, he says hes wary of the higher fees Amazon charges as well as Amazons reputation for competing with its third-party marketplace sellers as a direct seller itself.

Fullers Atlas Resell Management now carries 1,500 to 1,600 pieces of refurbished dental equipment on its eBay store. After acquiring used dental office equipment from sources throughout the United States, Atlas refurbishes items with a team of five technicians. About 20% of his companys sales are international.

The advantages of selling on e-marketplaces are just the scalability of communication and marketing power, Fuller says. Its the search ability of it. We sell such a niche product, and we need a very wide audience. But to the audience that is interested in what we provide, its revolutionary for them to have access to a wide selection of used equipment.

Sign up for afree subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazineInternet Retailer.

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Phil Burgert is a Pittsburgh, Kan.-based freelance writer.

01 July
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Big smiles in Vermont over dental therapy

Vermont joins Minnesota as the second state to develop a dental therapy program.-Nocella/Three Lions/Getty Images

What some see as a revolution in dentistry is happening in Vermont.  On Monday, the governor will highlight a new law that allows the practice of dental therapy.

Dental therapists, who work under the supervision of dentists, may make it easier for low-income residents to get care. In Vermont — and pretty much everywhere else — if you’re poor, getting dental care is tough.

Twenty percent of dentists nationwide accept Medicaid. Vermont dentist Dr. Patrick Rowe says he could see how dental therapists could make it easier to get into his office.

My hope is with a dental therapist, because of the lower cost of employing a dental therapist, I’m able to open up the practice more days and see more Medicaid patients, Rowe said. And at least break even.

A dental therapist falls between a hygienist and a dentist — with license to drill, fill and extract. 

Vermont joins Minnesota as the second state to develop a program. The American Dental Association and state dental societies have successfully fought this legislation around the country.

But Tera Bianchi, whos with advocacy group Community Catalyst, said the tide may be turning.

We do really see this as a tipping point, with close to a dozen states looking to employ dental therapists as part of the dental team, Bianchi. There are tribes in Washington and Oregon that are training members of their communities to be dental therapists.

The Federal Trade Commission has endorsed this new profession, saying more qualified providers would enhance competition and could lead to lower prices.

01 July
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Veterans receive free dental care

MADISON — (WKOW) –On Saturday, June 25, 400 Aspen Dental practices across the country, including the ones in the state of Wisconsinprovided a day of free dental care for thousands of veterans. Aspen organized this event because the company recognized that of the more than 21 million veterans across the US today, fewer than 10 million are enrolled for US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health benefits. Of those enrolled,many donot receivedental care benefits, and more than 1.2 million lack health insurance altogether.

This event wasAspens second attempt to providethe largest single-day oral health initiative targeted at veterans. We figure theyve given us so much and we just want to give back to them, said Aspen Dentals Andy Palan. He added, With everything that theyve done, we cant say thanks enough. The program isallpart of Aspen Dentals Healthy Mouth Movement, a community-giving initiative launched in 2014 to deliver free dental care to people in need.

It was very rewarding, heart and mind, that these people are taking their time to take care of us, said Andrew Thompson, a veteran who scheduled a freeappointment on Saturday. Thompson said hisdisability insurance does not cover dental care. He was grateful for the opportunity to take care of his teeth.

01 July
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Pascucci: Put dental hygiene practitioners to work

Many citizens in Massachusetts do not receive adequate dental care. Last year, nearly 300,000 of the children enrolled in MassHealth and almost 60 percent of seniors in nursing homes didn#x2019;t receive any dental care. Pending legislation, S.2076 aims to license new, mid-level professionals known as dental hygiene practitioners (DHPs) who could help alleviate the dental care provider shortage.

Dental hygiene practitioners are educated and trained to perform 80 dental procedures. They fill cavities, apply sealant and pull teeth. Dentists can supervise them remotely, so DHPs would be able to come to many of the patients who are unable to travel.

Children and seniors have a great need for regular dental care. However, children rely on parents for transportation who may find it difficult to take time off. Many seniors no longer drive. DHPs can travel to schools, nursing homes and community centers to administer routine services.

Our state#x2019;s poor and rural areas would also benefit from DHPs. Even with insurance, dental care can be difficult to fit into the budget. I know this from personal experience. DHPs do not charge as much as dentists. They are the ideal providers to help expand affordable access to dental care.

Dental hygiene practitioners not only help our state#x2019;s residents afford dental care, they also help improve the overall well-being of our citizens. Everyone has teeth and everyone#x2019;s teeth should be as healthy as possible. We should all get behind S.2076.

JEAN PASCUCCI

Holliston

01 July
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Hamilton, Franklin groups receive funds to expand dental services

Two local health organizations are each receiving $350,000 in federal funds to expand oral health services.

With the money from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, they will be able to hire dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides and technicians to treat new patients.

The Butler County Community Health Consortium Inc. in Hamilton and Franklin’s Centerpoint Health Center will each receive $350,000 in federal funding to increase access to oral health care services, according to HHS.

“This funding enables health centers to expand integrated oral health care services and increase the number of patients served,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “The funding we are awarding will reduce barriers to quality dental care for hundreds of thousands of Americans by bringing new oral health providers to health centers across the country.”

The money is part of more than $6 million in funding released recently by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services earmarked to support 16 health centers in Ohio.

The targeted health centers provide care to patients regardless of their ability to pay, with approximately 1 in 14 people in the US relying on a federally-funded health center for medical care, according to HHS.

The Centerpoint Health Center is a federally qualified health center that addresses the needs of under-served patients in the Franklin/Carlisle Warren County area that are primarily living below 200 percent of the poverty level.

Lorie Glenn, CEO for Centerpoint, said the grant from HHS will provide more services to the underinsured.

“Centerpoint Health will expand dental services for our community by hiring more staff to broaden access to dental services. In comparison to other states, Ohio received the fourth highest amount of dental expansion monies,” Glenn said. “Community health centers in Ohio were very fortunate to have acquired this additional funding for the dental disparities in our state.”

The Butler County Community Health Consortium Inc. is one of seven health centers in Butler County. It is part of the Butler County Health Centers Network.

The grant will expand dental services offered in the Hamilton area, according to Marc Bellisario, Butler County Community Health Consortium Director.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded the funds for expansion of dental services,” Bellisario said. “We understand the community need, and the funds will enable us to expand access to essential dental care services in Hamilton.”

Nationwide, nearly $156 million in funding was awarded to support 420 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with the goal being the health centers will hire approximately 1,600 new dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides, and technicians to treat nearly 785,000 new patients.

Oral health problems can be a sign of other illness and lack of access to preventive and routine dental care for underserved populations can result in dental conditions requiring more costly emergency dental treatment, according to HHS.

01 July
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Why Index Fund Investing Isn’t Always the Answer

Investment guides are as numerous as swallows. Very few have lasting appeal, because most are written under the influence of whatever is the pervasive market trend or approach of the day.

This is one explanation for the extraordinary endurance of what is still the best investment guide, Security Analysis, written by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd and published in 1934. Graham, the primary author, then an obscure professor and money manager, chose the Great Depression as the time to assert his faith in patient security analysis and long-term investing. Given that the market was in the throes of an epochal collapse, very few folks were interested in investing.

But Graham had the courage to see through the moment. The crash caused him no alarm–although it did cost him a great deal of money–for, as he put it, “That enormous profits should have turned into still more colossal losses … that unlimited optimism should have been succeeded by the deepest despair are all in strict accord with age-old tradition.”

30 June
Comments Off on Investing Action Plan: Post-Brexit Central Bank, EU Meetings; Nike Earnings

Investing Action Plan: Post-Brexit Central Bank, EU Meetings; Nike Earnings

Heres your Investing Action Plan: what you need to know as an investor for the coming week.

Fallout from the UKs vote to leave the European Union will consume markets, with attention turning to a meeting of top central bankers. Departing British Prime Minister David Cameron will also face EU counterparts. Nike (NKE) and Micron (MU) lead a trickle of earnings reports, while Lockheed Martin (LMT), Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Verizon Communications (VZ) could offer shelter from the storm.

Janet Yellen, Peers To Gather

On Wednesday, the European Central Bank will hold a conference in Sintra, Portugal, featuring Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and their Brazilian counterpart Alexandre Tombini.

The event will provide an opportunity for the worlds monetary policy leaders to comment on the turmoil following the Brexit vote and try to soothe fears over the global economy. On Friday, Carney pledged $345 billion in additional liquidity for the financial system to address a period of uncertainty and adjustment.

Also Friday, the Federal Reserve said it is prepared to provide dollar liquidity through its existing swap lines to ease pressure in global markets, and the Group of 7 of industrialized countries said its central banks also stand ready to use established liquidity instruments.

The conference in Portugal comes amid concerns that central bankers have nearly exhausted their options to stimulate growth via extraordinary measures like near-zero or negative interest rates, as well as massive bond buying.

EU Tries To Regroup

Leaders from the 28 EU member countries will hold a previously scheduled European Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the UKs Cameron expected to attend.

The heads of state will also meet without Cameron on the sidelines of the gathering. Seeking to discourage any other EU members from leaving, they are expected to be tough on the UK as separation terms are negotiated over the next few years. Members of far-right parties in France and the Netherlands have already called for votes similar to the Brexit referendum.

Some EU officials are calling on the UK to invoke the exit clause in the EU pact as soon as possible to minimize further uncertainty, though British officials have signaled they need more time to prepare.

Nike Earnings May Drop

When the athletic apparel giant reports Tuesday after the close, analysts expect Q4 EPS to dip a penny, or 2%, to 48 cents. That would be the first earnings decline in more than two years. Revenue is seen growing 6% to $8.27 billion, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of single-digit growth.

The report comes amid signs of tougher competition from rivals like Under Armour (UA) and Adidas, which has seen a resurgence recently.

Expect analyst chatter to focus on futures orders, growth in China and emerging markets, the possible inventory impact of Sports Authoritys bankruptcy, and sluggishness in the broader basketball shoe market. Nike management may discuss marketing strategy and expenses ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.

Stocks To Watch

Google owner Alphabet (GOOGL) is facing a bad omen while Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Verizon are near buy points.

Alphabets 50-day and 200-day moving averages have crossed, a bearish signal that indicates the stocks short-term price action is lagging its long-term performance. Shares, which recently breached support at their 200-day line, are trading 15% below their early February high.

Defense giants Lockheed and Northrop may be defensive stock plays during the post-Brexit volatility, as global security needs prop up demand for weapons. Shares of Lockheed, which makes the F-35 stealth fighter, dipped 0.1% Friday to 239.70, still near a 245.47 buy point from a flat base. Northrop, which makes the Global Hawk drone and is a top F-35 supplier, fell 0.9% to 212.71, within striking range of a 218.94 buy point.

Verizon is trading just under a 54.59 buy point from a cup base, with the stock having steadily risen 11% from its low reached about a month ago. The stock touched a record high Friday before closing down 0.4% at 54.43.

Key Economic Indicators

The Institute for Supply Management will release its June manufacturing activity index on Friday at 10 am ET. Economists expect it to show little change from Mays 51.3 reading, with a slight dip to 51. But that would mark the fourth straight month the ISM gauge has indicated expansion, signaling factories have stabilized since a drop in the dollar eased export woes and a rally in oil lifted the energy sector. But the outlook may darken as the dollar jumps and and oil retreats on Brexit fears.

On Wednesday, the Commerce Department is expected to report a 0.4% increase in May consumer spending, cooling from Aprils 1% monthly surge. Personal income is seen up 0.3%, down from 0.4% in the prior month. The forecast for the Feds preferred inflation gauge is for a 0.2% uptick — steady vs. Aprils pace. Wage and price growth are key indicators, as central bankers weigh another rate hike.

Auto Sales Cooling Off

Automakers will report June US sales throughout the day on Friday. The annualized pace is expected to slow to 17.2 million units from 17.45 million in May. Some auto industry executives and analysts earlier this year said they see signs the industry is plateauing after several years of robust growth.

A month ago, General Motors (GM) said May sales plunged 18%, as the auto giant withdrew from lower-margin rental fleet sales. Ford (F) sales fell 6%, Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) reported a 1% increase, Toyota (TM) sales skidded 9.6% lower, and those of Nissan (NSANY) dipped 1%.

Micron Earnings

Micron Technology reports fiscal Q3 results Thursday, and sales are expected to drop for the fifth consecutive quarter, as the largest US dynamic random-access memory chipmaker notches a second straight loss amid a PC sales drought.

For Q3, Micron is expected to report $2.96 billion in sales, down 23% year over year, and a 9 cent per-share loss minus items, swinging from a 54 cent profit in the year-earlier period. For Q4, analysts see a return to profitability — 3 cents a share — but thats still far from the 37 cents a share it posted last year.

Highly Rated Companies

IBD 50 stock Acuity Brands (AYI) will announce Q3 results on Wednesday. Analysts expect the LED lighting firm to report a 48.2% jump in earnings to $2.03 per share and a 24% increase in revenue to $847.8 million.

Paychex (PAYX), which has a 94 Composite Rating, is slated to announce Q4 results early Thursday. The payroll processing and HR services company is seen reporting an 11.4% jump in earnings to 49 cents per share and an 8.6% rise in revenue to $751.5 million. Paychex shares remain in buy range despite Fridays sell-off.

Constellation Brands (STZ) reports Thursday, and Q1 per-share profit is expected to rise 21% to $1.52 on 12% revenue growth to $1.83 billion. The beverage makers brands include Corona and Modelo Especial beer, Robert Mondavi wine and Svedka Vodka.

Packaged Food Giants

General Mills (GIS) will report fiscal Q4 results Wednesday before the market opens. Consensus is for the maker of Cheerios cereal, Progresso soups and other shelf-stable foods and snacks to report a 20% decline in EPS to 60 cents and a 10.2% drop in revenue to $3.86 billion. Last year, it completed the sale of its Green Giant frozen vegetables line to Bamp;G Foods for $765 million.

ConAgra (CAG), which makes shelf-stable and prepared frozen foods under Marie Callenders, Chef Boyardee and other brands, is slated to report fiscal Q4 earnings early Thursday. Wall Street projects a 12% dip in EPS to 52 cents on a 30% decline in sales to $2.89 billion. On Feb. 1, ConAgra completed the sale of its private label operations to TreeHouse Foods for $2.7 billion cash.

ConAgra is in the process of splitting itself into two independent companies, one comprised of its consumer-branded products and the other focused mainly on its frozen potato products. ConAgra expects to complete the split by this fall.

Seasonings, spices and sauces maker McCormick (MKC) and Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants (DRI) are also on tap to report results Thursday.

30 June
Comments Off on ‘Investing for Good’ Gains Appeal Amid Rocky Tech Startup Market

‘Investing for Good’ Gains Appeal Amid Rocky Tech Startup Market

As valuations flounder for Silicon Valley startups once worth billions of dollars, investor interest is on the rise in startups with both financial and social benefits, such as healthcare software for poor communities or low cost solar panels for homes.

So-called impact investing rose to $15.2 billion globally last year from $10.6 billion in 2014, according to a recent report by the Global Impact Investing Network. The figure includes several types of investment, from funds to foundations, which intend to generate social and financial returns.

The group expects a 16% rise in 2016. The change reflects investor concern with current valuations of more mainstream technology startups, a desire to help by some investors and a broadening definition of social-good startups. There is also growing sentiment that the rise of mobile technology will allow for profitable upstarts in parts of the world relatively untouched by Silicon Valley.

Earlier this year Union Square Ventures Partner Fred Wilson called the developing world the next whitespace for venture capital, pointing to 2.5 billion people poised to adopt smartphones.

Altruism and Profits for Kickstarter the Public Benefit Corporation

Big financial institutions such as Bank of America

BAC

and JPMorgan Chase

JPM

are investing, seeing rural communities and emerging markets as potential customers for financial services.

The drop in valuations for tech industry darlings that do things my mom used to do for me was a pivotal wake up for investors, said Doug Galen, chief executive of RippleWorks, which provides advisers for entrepreneurs in the developing world.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, put on by the US State Department this week at Stanford University for entrepreneurs from around the world, he and others poked fun at businesses made by and for well-off Americans.

Uber for pets or overnight underwear delivery–those things definitely arent getting the same traction they were six months ago, Andrew Beebe, managing director at Obvious Ventures, a venture firm for world-positive investing, said in an interview with Reuters. But take water (shortages) –on the other side of that solution is a massive pot of gold, he said.

How Companies Can Enrich Shareholders–and the Planet

The case for investing in social impact startups is the sheer size of the market; millions of people lack access to clean water, for instance. But, with companies serving customers living on $2 a day, profits can at times be slim.

Maybe 2% is a fabulous return in some cases, said Matthew Bannick, managing partner at Omidyar Network.

By comparison, traditional venture capitalists might seek a return 10 times their investment.

Some impact investors such as DBL Partners have had strong returns by using a broader definition of social impact. DBL considers its investments in electric car company Tesla Motors and Juicero, a juice company that raised $70 million in March, as having both financial gain and social impact.

For more on tech, watch:

30 June
Comments Off on Free Dental Care for Vets on June 25

Free Dental Care for Vets on June 25

One of the ways to thank the military and veterans for their service is to offer them freebies. In the past few years Ive written about free Christmas trees for the troops, free wedding gowns for military bridesand how the military can get freebies on Memorial Day weekend and on Veterans Day. Now Ive come across another freebie for veterans but on a serious health topicdental care.

On Saturday, June 25, dentists and team members from nearly 400 Aspen Dental practices in 33 states will open their doors to provide a day of free dental care for thousands of veterans across the country. Appointments are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

During appointments volunteer dentists and their staff will focus on treating the most urgent need of each veteran by providing free servicesincluding fillings, extractions and basic denture repairto help get them out of dental pain.

30 June
Comments Off on Tips for men’s health at high altitude (sponsored)

Tips for men’s health at high altitude (sponsored)

By Jessica Smith, sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

While June is well known for Father’s Day, it is also national men’s health month. Across the nation, this month is celebrated with health fairs, screenings and a variety of pro-health activities. And even though those of us — both men and women — who live in the Rocky Mountains may consider ourselves healthier and more active than people in other areas, it’s important to pay attention to our health and what our bodies are telling us.

Finding your baseline

Patricia Dietzgen is a family medicine doctor for Kaiser Permanente in Frisco. She recommends that young men, in their 20s and 30s, come in to get baseline screenings for things like blood pressure and cholesterol. By checking the basics and going over family and medical history, doctors like Dietzgen can help men establish a health plan to prevent further issues down the road.

“That’s a good time to catch up on your immunizations,” she added, as most people generally receive them during high school.

Once men reach their early 40s, she suggests coming in to re-check those baselines, as well as screening for chronic diseases like diabetes, and to assess the healthiness of their lifestyle. Once you hit your 50s, the discussion may also include colon cancer and other screenings. Definitely by their 60s, she says, men should be receiving yearly check-ups.

“Prevention is really key,” she says.

Common ailments

Dietzgen says one of the most common ailments she sees among men is fatigue and a lack of energy. There are also complaints of joint and back pain, while high blood pressure is often an issue.

She emphasizes the usefulness of consistent exercise and a healthy diet in combating most of these issues. That goes double for cardiovascular issues and diseases such as diabetes, which can often be prevented by a healthy lifestyle.

“I think prevention is absolutely number one here, and I think a lot of those complaints — fatigue, joint pain, arthritis, hypertension — could all be remedied or best, prevented, by starting out at a young age and developing healthy habits at a young age,” Dietzgen says.

She also encourages men of any age to make lifestyle changes, denying the mindset that someone is “too old” to exercise or have an active lifestyle.

“Our bodies are resilient no matter what age,” she says. Simply by eating well and doing even mild exercise, a person can become healthier. “You shouldn’t feel defeated if you’re 50, 60 or even in your 40s,” she adds. “A lot of this is still in our control; it just might take some change.”

Warning signs

While everyone has aches and pains here and there from time to time, there are certain symptoms that men should be aware of, and seek help for if they become persistent.

Dietzgen emphasizes being in tune with your body and your habits, so that you can notice when something isn’t right. Symptoms such as constant fatigue, night sweats, persistent coughing, bowel movement changes, and unexplained chest or abdominal pain are signs that something more serious could be happening.

In the mountains, in particular, Dietzgen says that some people deal with sleep apnea — shallow breathing and pauses in breathing during sleep. This may be a cause of someone’s fatigue or high blood pressure.

Practice prevention

Overall, Dietzgen emphasizes the importance of prevention, of taking steps in the present to avoid larger complications in the future. One of the best ways to do that is through exercise. She suggests getting around two-and-a-half hours of exercise a week, though “that doesn’t mean going out and joining a gym.”

For those averse to the gym or long, hard workouts, Dietzgen suggests finding ways throughout the day to exercise, such as taking the stairs, marching in place or doing activities like sit-ups and stair climbs in short intervals, just a few minutes each.

Living in the mountains, activities like taking a walk or going on a hike are also accessible and enjoyable, she says. Doing that on top of avoiding unhealthy activities such as smoking, becoming a “couch potato” and drinking alcohol excessively, will help build a healthy lifestyle, Dietzgen says.

“I also stress ‘be happy,'” she adds, and encourages finding time to do enjoyable activities and spend time with friends and family.