254 First Street
Forsyth Institute is a leading center for dental and craniofacial research located in Boston, MA. Forsyth works to improve oral health and overall health through innovative research and community outreach.
This grant, through the Executive Director’s Fund, is to support ForsythCares, a new dental care pilot for older adults. This program will combine lessons learned from Forsyth’s mobile program with technical and research expertise of the practice. The program is led by Drs. Kantarci and Hasturk, who have current research that deals with the link between gum disease and other conditions affecting seniors, such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Up to 60% of older adults have gum disease and often have higher oral cancer rates, and dental insurance is expensive and often difficult to find coverage.
Components of the project include a focus on seniors least likely to have access to care, particularly communities of color, creating a targeted outreach strategy, providing access to quality care, and working with state officials, insurers, and community members to build an affordable care model. The program will target patients in public housing or assisted care facilities and will include 30-40 patients during the pilot year. Forsyth will collect and analyze data from patients in order to continually improve the treatment for seniors and shape the care model. This includes using data from the pilot and working with public health experts to create a basic treatment model for older adults. The long-term goal is to create an affordable model of care for the population. This grant is supplemented by a grant of $50,000 from Next 50 Initiative, to support the service costs for the program. The budget of $35,000 would support purchasing necessary equipment, including handpieces, surgical instruments, and other items, in order to carry out the pilot project.