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A Strengthened Commitment To Community Service

A Strengthened Commitment To Community ServiceWith a $5 million endowment from Delta Dental of Massachusetts, Tufts School of Dental Medicine is strengthening its commitment to serving underprivileged and special needs populations.

Boston [05.17.06] Tufts School of Dental Medicine recently received a $5 million endowment – the largest gift in the School’s history – from Delta Dental of Massachusetts. The gift enables the Dental School to build on its longstanding tradition of community outreach and public service.

“This gift honors the Dental School's deep commitment to active citizenship and public health, and pays tribute to the entire Dental School community serving those in need,” Tufts University President Lawrence S. Bacow wrote in a statement to the Tufts community.

According to ADA News Today, the endowment will enable Tufts Dental School to expand its work targeted to special needs populations, including Tufts Dental Facilities (TDF) for Persons with Special Needs, an eight-clinic system that serves more than 15,000 patients with disabilities in Massachusetts each year.

"The Delta Dental endowment will enable Tufts dental school to increase community outreach and service to underserved populations and advance evidence-based programs to diagnose and intercept oral disease in these populations," Tufts Dental School Dean Lonnie Norris, DMD, told the publication.

In addition, the gift “will support expansion of a clinical database to enable practitioners to unify electronic dental records and practice management systems at [the TDF clinics],” ADA News Today reported.

The endowment, according to the Boston Herald, will also be used to create an academic chair in public health and community service at the Dental School.

“Thousands of Massachusetts residents with special needs lack oral health care for a myriad of reasons, including a lack of professionals who truly understand their unique medical needs,” Kathleen O’Loughlin, DMD, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts, the largest provider of dental benefits in the state, told the Herald.

“The endowed chair in public health and community service will develop programs that will increase early diagnosis, provide risk assessment, and improve overall oral health services for underserved and special needs populations, including people with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, and survivors of violence,” according to a Delta Dental of Massachusetts statement.



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