Grant extends reach of UB dental program to Erie County’s underserved, including older adults, people with disabilities
By the University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine has received a $780,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to expand its successful S-Miles to Go dental program through the addition of a second, drivable mobile dental clinic.
The new mobile dental van – a 40-feet-long, two-chair clinic outfitted with a state-of-the-art panoramic X-ray unit, digital radiography, a sterilization center, wheelchair lift and electronic health record system – will meet the oral health care needs of Erie County’s underserved populations, including older adults and people with disabilities.
Anticipated to begin operation in early 2022, the second mobile dental clinic is expected to expand the school’s outreach by more than 1,000 patients annually. The new dental unit will also be staffed by UB dental faculty, staff and students, and provide students with experiential learning opportunities caring for the most vulnerable populations in the region.
The funding will also support the operations of the School of Dental Medicine’s existing mobile dental van, which provides access to oral health care for veterans and underserved children and families, primarily in Chautauqua County.
“We at the School of Dental Medicine are very grateful for the support we’ve received from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation for a new mobile dental unit,” says Joseph J. Zambon, D.D.S., Ph.D., dean and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of the UB School of Dental Medicine. “This will allow the school to expand its outreach to underserved populations throughout Western New York, which in calendar year 2019 totaled over 13,000 procedures performed on over 1,800 patients at 31 different sites.”
The grant marks the second award provided to the UB S-Miles to Go program by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, an organization that provides funding to enhance access to affordable, quality health care and to address the unmet health care needs of communities across New York. In 2020, the foundation provided UB with a $200,000 grant to expand mobile dental services in underserved rural areas.
“These grants demonstrate our continued commitment to support a wide range of organizations improving the health and well-being of New York’s most vulnerable,” says Alfred F. Kelly Jr., CEO of Visa Inc. and chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation board.
S-Miles to Go offers a full range of educational and oral health care services, including exams, cleanings, fillings, sealants, fluoride treatments and extractions. The program has served Western New York communities for over 20 years, providing more than 45,000 patient visits.
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation – which is named in memory of a tireless advocate for immigrants, children and the poor – provides flexible support for new and innovative approaches that enhance health and wellness across New York. It is one of the largest foundations in the U.S. and the largest focused exclusively on New York. To learn more, visit the foundation website.