The East Carolina University (ECU) School of Dental Medicine served as a distribution point for KN95 masks given to the North Carolina Dental Society (NCDS) by NC Emergency Management for use in patient care across the state.
Late last week, the NCDS began distributing the second round of 150,000 masks approved by the Food and Drug Administration that are part of ramped-up personal protective equipment (PPE) for dentists providing oral healthcare across North Carolina.
The dental school’s home facility, Ross Hall, and all eight of its community service learning centers were among 14 pickup points for dentists practicing near those areas. Dentists who are members of the NCDS or the ADA were allotted 50 masks each.
This is the second time during the pandemic that the school has served as a distribution point for the masks and PPE—a solution that has worked smoothly in part because of the school’s strong collaborative relationship with the NCDS, ECU said.
“Having a statewide presence allows the School of Dental Medicine the honor and responsibility of partnering with state and local organizations to serve the communities in ways like this,” said Dr. T. Rob Temple, associate dean for extramural clinical practices.
“Our eight community service learning centers and Ross Hall teams partnered with the NCDS to ensure area dentists received their masks quickly in order to provide the very best protective measures for patients and dental teams alike,” said Temple.
Nicole Alley, clinic administrator for the School of Dental Medicine, helped coordinate the distribution of the masks to local dentists, many of whom visited Ross Hall to collect their masks.
“The partnership between the School of Dental Medicine and the NCDS for distributing these masks shows how we are committed to the dental health of all North Carolinians, and not just our patients,” Alley said.
“Many of the providers who are signing up and stopping by are former students or have our students working in their practices, which is great to see,” she said.
“Our goal is to educate dentists who go back to the communities they come from to serve, and it’s important for us to show that we support them even after they leave,” Alley said.