Penn Dental Medicine Expands Community Care with New Site in West Philadelphia 


Philadelphia — Penn Dental Medicine has expanded its community care locations, opening a new site in West Philadelphia within the PHMC Public Health Campus on Cedar. Penn Dental Medicine joined the Campus on Cedar as the dental care provider, with the new clinical care facility opening for patient care at the start of the new year. 

This innovative public health campus, which opened in March 2021 by a coalition including the not-for-profit Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Penn Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Independence Blue Cross Foundation, is located in the former Mercy Philadelphia Hospital building at 54th Street and Cedar Avenue in Cobbs Creek.  

The care center features 11 state-of-the-art dental operatories with care being provided by Penn Dental Medicine DMD students as well as residents from the School’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program. Several Penn Dental Medicine Board of Advisors members were instrumental in helping to outfit the center, including Stanley Bergman and Steve Kess through a gift from Henry Schein Cares Foundation for the dental equipment; Vincent Mosimann through Bien-Air, which donated the handpieces and motors, and Ruchi Aggarwal Goel through Labomed, which provided several dental microscopes. 

 “We are excited about this new partnership,” says Penn Dental Medicine’s Morton Amsterdam Dean, Dr. Mark Wolff. “The Campus on Cedar is filling a vital need in the community and the close integration of dental care with the other healthcare services will not only benefit patients, but also be a valuable learning environment for our students.”  

The PHMC Public Health Campus on Cedar includes a remote location of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with emergency, inpatient, and behavioral health services, providing an interprofessional practice experiences for the dental students at this site. The Campus on Cedar offers a unique opportunity to develop and assess oral health training for primary healthcare providers that improves their knowledge of oral health diseases. To that end, Penn Dental Medicine has developed a series of videos that provide an overview of the key oral health issues throughout the lifespan. The videos are designed to be viewed by all medical and dental team members and focus on actionable behavior with the goal of developing protocols to enact better oral/systemic management with measured outcomes. Support from the Benjamin & Mary Siddons Measey Foundation helped to fund in part the development of the educational videos and will help with patient record integration plans.  

To help facilitate integrated patient management even further, a public health dental hygiene practitioner will be integrated into the center to work with dental students to provide oral health counseling to patients. The dental team will see patients who indicate oral health questions or express interest in speaking with the dental team and those patients deemed at high risk by the medical staff will be referred to the dental team. 

With the opening of the care center at Cedar, Penn Dental Medicine now has four community sites. The others include Mercy LIFE, serving the elderly in West Philadelphia; Penn Dental at Puentes de Salud, serving a predominantly Latino population in South Philadelphia; and Penn Dental Medicine at Woods Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center, serving persons with disabilities in Langhorne, Pa. In addition, the PennSmiles mobile dental clinic provides care at area schools and health centers.