Annual Report 2017 Annual Report - Page 13

11 Increasing Access to Oral Health Services Within a Primary Care Setting Being healthy does not start from the neck down. Northeast Pennsylvania’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) revealed oral health services and education as one of the top 5 regional health areas for concern. In response to this identified health challenge, The Wright Center for Primary Care began offering basic and preventive oral health services in 2014 under a Pennsylvania Department of Health Primary Care Access Expansion Challenge Grant. The team utilized donated, portable equipment to see all patients, regardless of ability to pay, for the past three years. While increasing access to basic dental services was a solid initial goal, many patients who came for services required more complex care than the team could provide with the existing setup. The challenges of limited referral options for those without insurance led to The Wright Center’s pursuit of an expanded space where our team could serve the more complex needs of some of our community’s most vulnerable children and adults. patients seen per 350 month since opening 85 % are on Medical Assistance The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the Moses Taylor Foundation infused resources into The Wright Center’s oral health clinic to establish four state-of-the-art exam spaces and on-site X-ray capabilities. The expanded space and upgraded equipment allows the team to provide preventive care, as well as extractions and emergency services. Of the 30-35 patients the team sees each day since opening the new space, 85 percent are on Medical Assistance. Jenna Macejkovic is a public health dental hygiene practitioner (PHDHP) at our oral health clinic within The Wright Center for Primary Care Mid Valley. She joined the team in September 2017 and utilizes her PHDHP license to provide preventive services such as prophylaxis and sealants, as well as oral health education, in the clinic and within non- traditional, community settings. “A unique aspect of being a PHDHP is that I am licensed to serve patients without the direct supervision of a dentist,” Macejkovic said. “This means I can see individuals outside of the dentists’ normal scheduled hours and also in non-traditional healthcare settings like schools.” Macejkovic graduated with a bachelor of science in dental hygiene from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2009 and “Access to dental care is a significant challenge in our region. Moses Taylor Foundation is proud to support The Wright Center’s integration of oral health care into a primary care setting.” LATIDA SMITH PRESIDENT AND CEO, MOSES TAYLOR FOUNDATION then relocated to a remote region of Alaska. While there, she worked in public health at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and provided oral health care and education to a wide variety of individuals with limited access. “These patients were so grateful to receive care and so receptive to the oral health education I provided,” Macejkovic said. “It inspired me to continue to seek work in environments that allow me to treat the underserved.” Macejkovic’s favorite thing about working at The Wright Center is her opportunity to educate children about oral health. “The children are always fun and full of surprises,” Macejkovic said. “They like to have fun with the process and are usually very receptive to learning about how to care for their mouths.”