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Community Care Programs

Community Care + DMD Education = A Win-Win

Serving patients in the communities where they live, work, and go to school is an increasingly significant part of the mission of Penn Dental Medicine. Through its Division of Community Oral Health, led by Dr. Joan Gluch, Penn Dental Medicine increases access to care and high-quality dental care services to our neighbors in Philadelphia through three community care programs in Philadelphia: Mercy LIFE, PennSmiles at Schools/Community Health Centers, and Puentes de Salud.

These efforts have the crucial benefit of providing Penn Dental Medicine students with invaluable opportunities to expand their knowledge and skills in community-based dental care. Students learn about their role in society in improving health at the population level, while gaining insight to their patients’ lived experiences and providing much-needed dental care. Many prospective students choose Penn Dental Medicine because of our robust offering of experiential community-based courses, and especially the strength of our community-based clinical activities at Penn Dental Medicine community sites that emphasize cultural competence, health literacy, health promotion, ethics, behavior management, and practice management.

Dr. Leonard Jensen serves as Penn’s Primary Care Leader/Dental Director to lead the faculty and staff working at the community care dental sites. Dental students provide care one day per week for a calendar year beginning in January of their third year and continuing through December of their fourth year.

Community Care Programs

Support Community Outreach Programs

To make a gift or to learn more on how to support community outreach programs, contact:

Elizabeth Ketterlinus
Vice Dean, Institutional Advancement
240 S. 40th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Make a gift online »


Find the community center locations that are part of the PennSmiles program and the School’s community care programs by navigating the map below.

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