LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas - The Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation presented a $150,000 check Aug. 31 to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) 12th Street Health and Wellness Center to support dental care and encourage dental education and residency at UAMS.
The 12th Street Center’s dental service has seen more than 400 patients since opening last year. Patients are often seen first at the center, with some being referred for the next level of care at the UAMS Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation Oral Health Clinic.
Weldon Johnson, executive director of the foundation, and Dr. Robert “Bob” Mason, vice president of professional relations and dental director at Delta Dental of Arkansas, presented the check to center director Lanita White, Pharm.D., and Muhammad Jaffar, M.D., professor in the department of anesthesiology.
“We love what the 12th Street Center is doing,” said Johnson. “Expanding the clinic’s outreach program while simultaneously creating opportunities for students to collaborate between the medical and dental health care fields is exactly what our partnership seeks to accomplish. We are proud to continue our support of UAMS and its dental programs as we work together to improve the oral health of Arkansans.”
The three-year grant is Delta Dental’s second in 2016 to support dental care and interprofessional care at the 12th Street Center,following a $30,000 gift in March. Initially, there were no plans for an additional gift this year, Johnson said, but Delta Dental’s existing partnership with UAMS and the center created an opportunity to insure and expand inter-professional education and care activities.
“We at the 12th Street Health and Wellness Center are very appreciative of this gift, as it allows us to continue to provide much-needed dental care to underserved patients in the area,” White said. “Delta Dental’s commitment to quality dental care for all Arkansans is clear, and we are pleased to continue our partnership with them.”
Dental hygiene students and dental residents at the center provide oral screenings and basic dental care under supervision of licensed dentists and dental hygienists. Services there include cleanings, simple fillings and extractions.
The interprofessional 12th Street Center opened in 2013. There, students from all of the UAMS colleges and the Graduate School provide health and wellness services, including disease and medication management, dental screenings, health screenings, education and immunizations.
UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a northwest Arkansas regional campus; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 3,021 students, 789 medical residents and five dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS regional centers throughout the state.
Delta Dental of Arkansas has been writing group dental insurance since 1982 and currently serves more than 1,000 participating Arkansas dentists, 3,100 employer groups and over 2 million individuals. Delta Dental is the largest dental benefits provider in the state of Arkansas and is a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, a national network of independent not-for-profit dental service corporations specializing in providing dental benefits programs to 60 million Americans in more than 111,000 employee groups throughout the country.
In addition to providing excellent dental coverage, Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation is contributing more than $3 million each year to support programs designed to improve the oral health of all Arkansans. For more information, visit www.deltadentalar.com.
This article was originally published on the UAMS website.