Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB)
June 26, 2017
Penn Dental Medicine has been awarded a $650,000 grant from Delta Dental of Pennsylvania and its affiliates to expand the school’s community outreach efforts. The grant will support PennSmiles, the school’s long-standing oral health education and clinical care program for schoolchildren and their families in West and Southwest Philadelphia, providing funds for a new mobile dental vehicle as well as the operational costs for educational programs.
“PennSmiles is our flagship program in terms of bringing oral health education and dental care to schoolchildren and their families in the West and Southwest Philadelphia communities,” said Dr. Joan Gluch, chief of the Division of Community Health. “Funding from Delta Dental of Pennsylvania will allow us to replace the 14-year-old existing PennSmiles bus with a modern, new dental bus, thus ensuring continuity in care for the schoolchildren we serve.”
The school- and community-based oral health education component of PennSmiles launched in 2000 in partnership with the school district of Philadelphia, and since 2003, Penn Dental Medicine students and faculty have also been providing comprehensive dental care aboard the PennSmiles dental bus. Presently, the PennSmiles program works with 24 preschool, elementary, and middle public and charter schools in the neighborhoods within approximately 24 square miles of the University of Pennsylvania. In the current academic year, all predoctoral dental students participated in Penn’s service-learning courses in community health, which include the PennSmiles education, preventive and dental care programs. The Penn service-learning courses allow dental students to gain practical experiences in community settings while providing much-needed oral health education and dental care.
“Delta Dental and PennSmiles have a…