$5.7 million grant to provide oral health care to nursing home residents
July 22, 2019
The UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry has received a $5.7 million grant from the Center for Medicare Services to provide comprehensive oral health care services to nursing home residents in and around the San Antonio area. Suman Challa, B.D.S., MPH, associate professor in the department of comprehensive dentistry, is the principal investigator of this three-year grant.
"Oral health is integral to overall health and access to dental services is essential to promoting and maintaining that," says Peter M. Loomer, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor and dean of the School of Dentistry. "However, those who need dental care the most are often the least likely to receive it. Several barriers significantly affect the ability to access and navigate the oral health care system, this grant helps to fill that gap."
Using state-of-the-art mobile dental offices, dental care will be provided at local nursing home facilities for their residents. In addition, the project will involve presenting health promotion education to the facility’s residents and their caregivers by dental students, post-doctoral students, staff, and faculty.
Dr. Loomer is appreciative of Dr. Challa and his team for their efforts to offer these much-needed services to our elder, yet often neglected, population in South Texas. The program will also provide an important learning opportunity for dental students and post-doctoral learners within the school.