Committed to improving oral health for our patients and our local and global communities, Penn Dental Medicine’s Division of Community Oral Health is responsible for the required predoctoral didactic and community based experiential and clinical education in community and public health, health promotion, cultural competency, ethics, behavioral management and practice management. The Division offers an elective community health honors program that provides students with in-depth experience of at least 120 hours at a Penn Dental Medicine approved community site. The Division also coordinates the dual degree DMD/MPH program in collaboration with the Perelman School of Medicine.
The Division’s academically based service learning program provides the framework for faculty and students to expand community engagement in the Philadelphia region with patients traditionally underserved by dentistry, such as low-income adults and children, including preschool and school age children, elderly, and those patients with medical complex conditions. The Division maintains active engagement with the following community partners: School District of Philadelphia, Sayre Health Center, Philadelphia FIGHT, Homeless Health Initiative, United Community Clinics, Puentes de Salud, University City Hospitality Coalition, and Spectrum Health Services. The Division also operates the mobile dental care vehicle, PennSmiles, and provides dental care at Mercy LIFE, a program of comprehensive care for low income elderly, at Sayre Health Center, a comprehensive community health center, and at Spectrum Health Services, a medical and dental care facility.
The Division maintains a robust profile of community engaged scholarship and research projects, and has received four HRSA training grants to support community and public health training programs in collaboration with the Division’s community partners.