CARES (Counseling, Advocacy, Referral, Education and Service)

"Cares Program Logo".

The CARES Program (Counseling, Advocacy, Referral, Education and Service), a nationally recognized collaboration between the University at Buffalo Schools of Dental Medicine and Social Work, was created as an innovative solution to address access to oral health care issues faced by a diverse population in Western New York.

COVID-19 Resources for SDM Patients

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Helping Patients Get The Resources They Need

Through the creation, exchange, evolution and application of new ideas, the CARES Program has increased forty fold since its inception and continues to expand in new directions while maintaining three primary goals: 

  1. To increase access to quality oral health care for special needs and difficult to reach populations
  2. To provide dental students with a unique and beneficial multidisciplinary learning experience
  3. To foster community partnerships with numerous agencies in order to address a diverse array of patient needs.

The CARES Program achieve these goals by linking School of Dental Medicine patients with resources including Medicaid, health centers, transportation, care giving assistance, housing and employment.

CARES social workers work collaboratively with patients to help identify their concerns and pair them with the most appropriate community resources.

Expanding The Dental Curriculum

In addition to assisting patients, an emphasis is placed on expanding the dental curriculum to formally address biophysicosocial concerns that influence the overall well being of patients. Classroom-based, interactional, and clinical educational interventions offered through community outreach events have been developed to enhance dental students' awareness about health and social needs.

Additional Resources

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (S.N.A.P)

SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.  Click here


NY State of Health – The Official Health Plan Marketplace

Compare health plan options and apply for assistance that could lower the cost of your health coverage. You may also qualify for health care coverage from Medicaid or Child Health Plus through the Marketplace. Anyone can apply here


Heating Energy Assistance Program (H.E.A.P)

New Yorkers can apply for heating and cooling assistance under the Home Energy Assistance Program.  Click here


Social Security Administration (S.S.A.)

The SSA is an independent agency of the U.S. federal government that administers Social Security, a                                social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits. Apply for Medicare here


Erie County Department of Health (E.C.D.O.H.)

For more information about different programs throughout Erie County and information on health-related topics visit the E.C.D.O.H.  Click here.


Niagara County Department of Health

For more information about different services throughout Niagara County and information on health-related                                topics visit the Niagara County Department of Health Website.  Click here.