The University at Buffalo (UB) 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-foot, two-chair clinic outfitted with a panoramic X-ray unit, digital radiography, a sterilization center, a wheelchair lift, and an electronic health record system—will meet the oral healthcare needs of Erie County’s underserved populations, including older adults and people with disabilities, UB said.
Expected to begin operation in early 2022, the second mobile dental clinic should expand the school’s outreach by more than a thousand patients annually, UB said. It will 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 also will support the operations of the School of Dental Medicine’s existing mobile dental van, which provides access to oral healthcare 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,” said Joseph J. Zambon, DDS, PhD, 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,” Zambon said.
The grant marks the second award provided to the UB S-Miles to Go program by the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, which provides funding to enhance access to affordable, quality healthcare and to address the unmet healthcare 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,” said Alfred F. Kelly Jr, chief executive officer of Visa Inc and chair of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation board.
S-Miles to Go offers a full range of educational and oral healthcare services, including exams, cleanings, fillings, sealants, fluoride treatments, and extractions. The program has served Western New York communities for more than 20 years, providing more than 45,000 patient visits.