The Arc of Philadelphia
2350 W. Westmoreland Street
The Arc of Philadelphia is an organization working to advocate with and for all children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families, to promote active citizenship, self-determination, and full inclusion. To address barriers to quality oral health care for people with disabilities, the Arc of Philadelphia has established HealthMeet, a program that promotes inclusive healthcare education and interaction with people with IDD for students earning degrees in healthcare. The program provides opportunities to medical, dental, nursing, and occupational therapy students. These opportunities include presentations, discussion panels, and establishing student chapters of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry at their respective universities. The Commission on Dental Accreditation has recently made a recommendation for dental schools to train their students in managing treatment of patients with IDD, but there are additional barriers to implementation, which is why the Arc of Philadelphia believes it’s an important time to partner with dental schools and engage them in the HealthMeet program.
This investment, through the Executive Director’s Fund, supports the implementation of training sessions through the Arc of Philadelphia’s HealthMeet program in partnership with Pennsylvania dental schools. In 2021, they have already held 4 training sessions for local medical and dental schools, and there was high interest and positive response. They are planning to hold a series of 4 more convenings for dental students at the UPENN School of Dental Medicine and Temple University Kronberg School of Dentistry. As part of the HealthMeet program, these sessions will promote inclusive dentistry for people with IDD and provide strategies on working with the population. They will be conducted by three key stakeholders that provide different perspectives on oral healthcare: a self-advocate, the ED of the Arc of Philadelphia, and a dentist who provides care for people with IDD. The budget of $5,000 would go towards implementation costs including staff time for the facilitators participating in sessions, creating materials and promoting the event, partnership development with the universities, a zoom subscription, and registered dental hygienist consultant costs.