The endowed chair in public health and community service will develop programs that will increase early diagnosis, provide risk assessment, and improve overall oral health services for underserved and special needs populations, including people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and survivors of violence. A specialized database will enable practitioners to unify electronic dental records and practice management systems at eight clinics for the Tufts Dental Facilities for Persons with Special Needs located across Massachusetts.
"Thousands of Massachusetts residents with special needs lack oral health care for a myriad of reasons, including a lack of professionals who truly understand their unique medical and social needs," said Dr. Kathleen O'Loughlin, President and CEO of Dental Service of Massachusetts, doing business as Delta Dental of Massachusetts. "Tufts Dental Facilities for Persons with Special Needs is unique in this country and the endowment will enable that program to expand its leadership and care to people in great need. Additionally, data will be collected and analyzed to help refine care guidelines and assist practitioners in effectively treating persons with special needs."
Low-income and minority populations, including individuals with disabilities, victims of violence, and those who are elderly or homeless, are less likely to have access to adequate dental care and are at high-risk for dental and oral diseases that, in turn, create additional health pr