The Foundation is Providing Access to Care Near and Far
In 2016, the Foundation set out to launch a program that would assist patients in underserved communities through endodontic care. Now, just three years later, that program has grown to include domestic and international sites where the Foundation is providing access to endodontic care, advocating for the specialty, and providing mentorship and hands-on volunteer opportunities to AAE members.
Four times each year, the Foundation sends a team of volunteers to the international outreach program’s site in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. Traveling in teams of three, comprised of two endodontic residents and one endodontist who serves as a mentor, volunteers join general dentistry students and practitioners at the Helping Hand Clinic to improve the quality of care with the addition of specialized endodontic treatment. Through the collaborative nature of the international program, Foundation volunteers are actively increasing awareness and sharing the value of endodontics among international patients and American dentistry students alike.
Since the program’s inception in 2016, Foundation volunteers have performed 423 endodontic treatments at the Helping Hand Clinic and helped serve 5,743 patients.
In 2018, the Foundation answered the call for access to endodontic care needed in the United States. The Foundation’s first domestic outreach pilot program was launched in Philadelphia through partnerships with Einstein Medical Center’s Endodontic Program and Project HOME. In recognition of the program’s innovation and success, the Foundation was honored with the Shils Fund Special Recognition Award.
Work continues with the Foundation’s second pilot program in Boston, launched in 2019 and made possible through partnerships with Boston University’s Endodontic Program and Geiger Gibson Health Center. The Foundation is eager to provide charitable endodontic care domestically and is working closely with its partner universities to develop an opportunity that will stimulate the growth of similar programs in other U.S. communities.
In 2020, the Foundation will continue to hone its domestic outreach pilot programs, learning how to provide care efficiently in cooperation with local charity partners and endodontic programs. Continuing its tradition of sending four teams of volunteers overseas each year, the Foundation is on track to surpass 7,000 patients served and 500 endodontic treatments performed in 2020.