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2021 Foundation & U.S. Endo Partners’ Domestic Access to Care Recipients

Meet the endodontists who are recipients of the the first grants for domestic access to care.

In 2021, the Foundation for Endodontics launched a new funding opportunity, the Domestic Access to Care program, generously supported by U.S. Endo Partners. The Foundation and U.S. Endo Partners believe every endodontist has the capacity to make a significant difference and is proud to empower specialists to provide a high-level of care to deserving communities.  

Proposals were submitted to cover the costs of endodontic equipment, supplies and other materials needed exclusively for free access to care. Fourteen submissions were received, and we are delighted to announce four recipients of funds who will provide care in Philadelphia, Fort Worth, Texas and Durham, NC. in 2022. 

Dr. David Wong

Dr. Wong’s project is in conjunction with Wake Smiles to expand their current capabilities to deliver endodontic treatment. Wake Smiles is a community dental clinical founded 20 years ago to serve the thousands of uninsured adults who are living 200% under the federal poverty guidelines in Wake County, NC.  

Given that a high percentage of patients served at Wake Smiles deal with uncontrolled systemic diseases, interdisciplinary care is needed. At every patient visit, efforts are made to educate patients of the relationship between their oral and systemic health and ways to improve both. 

“I’d like to think that when we perform endodontic procedures, we restore a small part of someone’s humanity to make them feel whole again. With this project, we collect no monetary gift from patients, but perhaps in exchange, we are also rewarded by a sense of humanity back to us,” said Dr. Wong. 

Dr. Frederic Barnett 

The Foundation’s first domestic outreach pilot program was launched in 2018 in North Philadelphia through partnerships with Einstein Medical Center’s Endodontic Program and Project Home. 31 percent of that population lives under the federal poverty line – twice the national average. 

Dr. Frederic Barnett, Chairman of the Maxwell S. Fogel Department of Dental Medicine at Einstein leads this effort. Project Home is staffed on a part-time basis by an endodontic resident and faculty member from Einstein’s I.B. Bender Division of Endodontics, Department of Dental Medicine. 

Project Home was inspired by Philadelphia endodontist Dr. Louis Rossman, who endorsed a domestic mission following his term as Foundation president and introduced Dr. Barnett to Project Home. He is volunteering his time as a faculty member at the clinic. 

“You don’t have to go far out of our own zip code to see the desperate need for our services.”  Dr. Barnett said. “We are looking forward to a long-term association with Project Home and the vulnerable people they serve.”  

Dr. Tina Chou 

In January 2021, Dr. Chou began volunteering on a weekly basis at FIGHT in Philadelphia, an established Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). FIGHT was founded in 1990 to provide services to people living with HIV, and it now provides services to other marginalized populations with a focus on those at high risk for HIV, including partners and families of HIV+ individuals, people who have been incarcerated and families affected by incarceration, people who are Hepatitis C positive, and individuals in active or in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.  

Dr. Chou says that she has experienced great opportunities for the expansion of access to endodontic care. The patients she has treated have been extremely grateful and she looks forward to providing the best care possible moving forward. 

Dr. Francisco Nieves 

Dr. Nieves grew up in the Fort Worth, TX area and feels blessed to have the knowledge and skills to give back to his community. In 2019, he began volunteering at Mercy Clinic of Fort Worth (Mission Travis Mercy), providing endodontic services to the uninsured and impoverished population within the inner city.  

“The ability to alleviate their pain while preserving their esthetics and function allows them to continue working and provide for themselves and their families. With the requested funds, I hope to support my team of general dentists and health care providers by providing quality endodontic treatment to our patients in need,” said Dr. Nieves. 

Since its inception, the desire of Mercy Clinic has been to build a healthier community. This has been achieved by providing access to healthcare services that promote the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of our underserved community neighbors at no cost. This care is offered unconditionally to demonstrate God’s compassion to those in need. About 5-6 root canals are performed per month. 

The Foundation for Endodontics’ & U.S. Endo Partners’ Domestic Access to Care Program is designed to ignite the spirit of philanthropy among endodontists across the nation while increasing public awareness of the specialty. Congratulations to each of the 2021 program recipients! 

Please stay tuned for announcements regarding the 2022 program application and process.