October 20, 2014

College of Dentistry Brings Dental Care to Columbus School Children through New Mobile Coach

Delta Dental Foundation Funds New Coach with $534,000 Grant

The Ohio State University College of Dentistry has launched a new, 45-foot dental Health Outreach Mobile Experience (H.O.M.E.) Coach. Funded by the Delta Dental Foundation, the mobile dental clinic brings dentists and dental treatment to children at Columbus City schools during regular classroom hours.

"Oral health is the number one unmet health care need for Ohio's children and at risk populations," said Dr. Canise Bean, community outreach and education director at the College of Dentistry.  "The H.O.M.E. Coach program, which was initiated in 2005, helps bridge this gap by providing oral health care and education to underserved children in Columbus and surrounding communities."

"This Coach is a life changer," said Patrick M. Lloyd, dean of the College of Dentistry.  "It changes the lives of children—some of whom will receive dental care for the first time in their lives aboard this coach.  It also changes the lives of our students, who learn the importance of practicing in underserved communities as they provide treatment to these children under the supervision of our faculty."

During a ribbon-cutting ceremony, representatives from the Delta Dental Foundation presented a $534,000 grant to the college to fund the building of the new coach.  The Foundation has been a longtime friend and supporter of the Dental H.O.M.E. Coach program since 2007.

"The Delta Dental Foundation is extremely proud to fund the H.O.M.E. Coach," said Teri Battaglieri, director, Delta Dental Foundation. "With children missing 51 million hours of school every year due to oral health related issues, the new dental coach will help ensure more underserved children in Columbus receive the dental care and oral health education they need to show up to school every day healthy, pain free and ready to learn."

The Coach features dual slide out rooms, an exterior monitor, and state-of-the-art equipment to include intra-oral cameras for telemedicine communication for advanced diagnosis and medical opinion, high speed wireless connectivity, upgraded digital x-ray, flat screen ceiling mounted monitors, and an interactive educational station so patients waiting for treatment will be entertained and learning simultaneously.

The dental practitioners aboard the Coach provide services to nearly 2,500 children in Franklin County each year.  The Coach is staffed by faculty-supervised senior dental students and dental assistants.