A 22-member team from the NYUCD–Henry Schein Cares Global Student Outreach Program provided free oral health care to more than 500 children and adults in Machias, Maine, in rural Washington County, during a five-day outreach in October.
Machias has six dentists serving a population of 34,000 in an area the size of Rhode Island and New Hampshire, combined. Access to care is a severe problem in this area. This dental activity was the result of a collaboration between the Washington County Children's Program (WCCP), their "Tooth Fairy" mobile dental van, and Caring Hands of Maine, a nonprofit dental clinic. WCCP provides oral hygiene education, sealants, and fluoride varnishes to children in the area throughout the year. The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation of Maine provided a $100,000 grant to help defray the costs of the October visit, as well as a follow-up outreach planned for April 2011.
The outreach team set up a temporary clinic in a community center in Machias, where they provided 284 children with 635 procedures, including prophylaxes, varnishes, sealants, restorations, and extractions. Emergency care was also provided for 256 adults. Dental hygienists from the WCCP will reapply varnishes at three-month intervals until the NYUCD–Henry Schein Cares team returns.
"Although WCCP has done an outstanding job of education and preventive care, it does not have the resources to meet the county's urgent need for comprehensive pediatric dental treatment," said the outreach coordinator, Ms. Rachel Hill, Program Administrator in the Office of International Initiatives & Development.
"Our goal is to help meet that need, and to reduce childhood caries using a sustainable care model similar to the ones we have put into place in other underserved communities in the United States and abroad, including Columbia County in upstate New York, arctic Alaska, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Nicaragua," Ms. Hill said, adding that NYUCD hopes to expand the sustainable care program to other underserved areas in New England.
In addition to the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation, WCCP, and Caring Hands of Maine, the outreach cosponsors included Child and Family Opportunities, the Washington Hancock Community Agency, Maine Board of Dental Examiners, Washington County Memorial Hospital, and Down East Community Hospital.
In addition to Ms. Hill, the outreach team included Dr. Stuart Hirsch, Vice Dean for International Initiatives & Development, who served as clinic director; Dr. Timothy Oh, Supervising Dentist, Caring Hands of Maine; Dr. Amr Moursi, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry; Ms. Jill Fernandez, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Robert Glickman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery; Dr. Denise Foran, Clinical Assistant Professor of Endodontics; Ms. Teresa Alley, Clinic Coordinator and Hygienist, Washington County Children's Program; Ms. Lisa Haystrand, Research Administrator in the Office of International Initiatives & Development; Dr. Jennifer Lo, PG Pediatric Dentistry '11; Dr. Scott Sachs, PG Pediatric Dentistry '11; Dr. Cindy Tran, PG Pediatric Dentistry '12; and Dr. You-na Kim, PG Pediatric Dentistry '12.
Additional participants included Ms. Jaclyn Newman, AAS in Dental Hygiene '11; Ms. Rosa Maria Salvo, AAS in Dental Hygiene '11; Ms. Jenna Wing, University of New England AAS in Dental Hygiene '11 and member of the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation Board; Mr. Eric Budiman, '12; Ms. Maydelin Martinez-Blanco, '12; Ms. Alireza Hamidzadeh, '12; and the following students from the DDS Class of 2011: Mr. Valentin Sviatocha; Mr. Zachary Linhart; Ms. Sana Tariq; Ms. Ella Lim; Ms. Tamara Shamlian; and Ms. Maria Pham.