Grant Project Title: 
Expanding Access to Dental Care
Grantee Address: 
Cambridge Health Alliance
1493 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA
United States
This investment supports Cambridge Health Alliance with their focus on delivery and access to oral health care for teens in Somerville, MA. CHA has been working for the past several years to increase access to care, both oral and healthcare, for English language learners in Somerville, who have significant barriers to care. 11.8% of Somerville High School students are English language learners, 40.8% identified as economically disadvantaged. Barriers to care include lack of insurance coverage, difficulty navigating the health care system, limited access to dentists and providers who speak the students’ native language, the required presence of a legal guardian at appointments, and lack of transportation to appointments. CHA engaged with partners Forsyth Kids and Commonwealth Mobile Oral Health Services to provide services at the school location in Somerville. However, this location closed in March 2020 and has remained closed. To overcome the access gap, they have partnered with community dentists to coordinate care at outside clinics, both preventative services and triaging urgent and emergency care. They also work with a culturally competent multi-lingual coordinator to provide quality services to students, and work with transportation coordination as well. This program will continue through the school year and the summer, with services offered at the outside clinics and hopefully opening at the school location when that option becomes viable. Program activities for students include: on-side outreach and recruitment at the school (offered virtually right now), enrollment into clinic, periodic on-side dental clinic days, on-site preventive treatment from providers, assistance with transportation to appointments, medical visits in addition to dental services, referrals for additional, restorative dental care. The goals of this project are to expand access to restorative dental care to a larger population of teens who are currently being untreated, strengthen ties with local dentists, CHA, Somerville High School, and local city officials, provide assessment, cleanings and fluoride treatments at SHS or other locations, and continue to advocate for the importance of access to oral health. Success is measured by increased access to restorative dental care, dental homes, preventative care over time, and reduced time and barriers between identification and treatment of oral health issues.
Grant Date: 
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 to Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Grant Amount: