Patient Services Program
The SDM Coordinator of Patient Services organizes, coordinates and participates in outreach to the Buffalo and Western New York region. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this area has a poverty rate of over 30% percent, placing it among the highest in the United States. One in three Buffalo residents lives below the poverty level.
The goals of the Patient Services Program are to:
Improve access to oral health care in the Western New York region. The Program reaches out to the community detailing how to obtain affordable dental care. The target population specifically includes the elderly and individuals of low socio-economic status.
Educate the Western New York population regarding the benefits of accessing care at the SDM. The Patient Services Program provides one-on-one oral health counseling and offers clarification regarding patient eligibility to obtain dental care at the SDM. Preliminary dental assessments are performed informing patients about the link between oral health and overall general health and well-being.
Through the recruitment of this underserved population, dental students are provided the unique opportunity to assist individuals who normally would not access oral health care. The students become more aware of their roles in the process of eliminating the gap between limited health information and access to care, thereby enhancing their professional growth.