UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry received $2 million federal grant to support special care dental clinic
UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry received a $2 million federal grant to support a large special care dental clinic that will serve the community and provide training for students.
The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration will fund the staffing and operating costs of the clinic, which will be known as the Phil Special Care Clinic. and Karen Hunke, named after the San Antonio area. philanthropists who provided seed funding for the project. Phil Hunke, DDS, is a retired pediatric dentist.
The clinic will serve adults with special needs as well as children with “medical complexities”, including those with developmental and physical disabilities, and will be housed in the school’s Oral Health Care and Research Center. .
“This grant will focus on services to a vulnerable population, and special needs populations are significantly underserved,” said Micaela Gibbs, DDS, MHA, the school’s chief dental officer and principal investigator for the award. grant. “The potential to make an impact is significant.”
The clinic, the first of its kind in a South Texas university setting, will leverage the most comprehensive dental practice in the region, where patients receive care from experienced dentists, renowned specialists, advanced graduate residents or dental students supervised by the state faculty. – Classified dental school. Currently in the final process of hiring architects for the renovation of available space in the school’s Oral Health Care and Research Center complex, the clinic is expected to open by January 2024. The he space will include seven dental treatment rooms and five IV sedation suites.
“There are not enough dentists providing care for people with disabilities,” said Peter Loomer, DDS, PhD, dean of the school. “Since my tenure at the school began three years ago, my vision and mission has been to build this clinic both to provide direct care and, just as importantly, to train our students to feel safe. confidence to provide care to people with disabilities in their dental practice after graduation Everyone deserves to have access to dental care.
In addition to serving patients from across South Texas, the facility will also provide academic and clinical training for special health care students in multiple disciplines, including dental and dental hygiene, but also medical students, medical and nursing assistants. Area dentists will also be able to refer patients with physical or cognitive impairments to the clinic for the special care and attention that may be hard to come by.
“The interprofessional courses and care experiences will enable future generations of healthcare providers to collaborate, communicate, plan care, and deliver care to patients with complex needs,” Gibbs said.