VCU receives $2.4 million grant to increase dental care access for underserved children and adolescents and to improve interprofessional training for pediatric dentistry students

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The Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry has received a $2.4 million federal grant to introduce an innovative new curriculum, purchase new dental technology, and build on its ongoing efforts to treat at-risk pediatric patients.

The five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration will fund the development of a new interprofessional curriculum, provide funds for teledentistry equipment, and expand the pediatric dental residency program at two clinical care sites.

“The grant will help initiate a curriculum that integrates interprofessional education and collaborative care into the pediatric dentistry residency training program, with an emphasis on treating low-income populations and children with complex health care needs,” said Tegwyn H. Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D., department chair, research director and associate professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, VCU School of Dentistry.

Through the new interprofessional curriculum, pediatric dentistry residents will have the opportunity to participate in the VCU Center for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Care’s educational programs while providing dental care for children at various clinical sites. Students will provide care at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and the Piedmont Regional Dental Center, which is a safety net dental practice in Orange, Virginia. The grant also covers the cost of dental technology equipment such as a digital X-ray and an intra-oral video camera. The new technology will enable pediatric dentistry residents to provide consultation services for children at rural sites without necessitating a trip to a dental office.

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