The Oral Health Improvement through Outreach (OHIO) Project
Outreach that changes lives
Oral health care is the number one unmet need for Ohio's children and at-risk populations. Children, veterans, the uninsured, and those challenged by drug and alcohol issues are among the underserved populations who too often lack adequate oral health care. Because of this startling need, the College of Dentistry created the Oral Health Improvement through Outreach (OHIO) Project with funding from a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Canise Y. Bean, DMD, MPH accepted the challenge of leading the OHIO Project and an enhancement to the clinical education of fourth-year dental students.
Through the OHIO Project, fourth-year dental students spend 50 days providing care in community clinics throughout Ohio under the direct supervision of associated faculty. These dentists are often alumni of Ohio State’s College of Dentistry. The program benefits both the individuals who need care and the dental students who gain patient-care experience in a variety of settings, such as hospital programs, health department clinics, private practice models, and a mobile dental unit. Students work with seasoned dental assistants, through a busy patient schedule, and have the ability to observe practice management in a diverse collection of oral health delivery environments. Students walk away with more experience, a greater understanding of career choices, and an enhanced social awareness.