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Dental Public Health Activities: Descriptive Summaries

University of Michigan Dental School's Partnership with Community Health Centers- Archived Summary

Practice Number: 25002
Submitted By: Michigan Department of Community Health
Submission Date: May 2002
Last Reviewed: June 2010
Last Updated: June 2010
Best Practice Approach Example University of Michigan Dental School's Partnership with Community Health Centers

In April 2000, the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) awarded 22 agencies oral health access grants. Five of these agencies subcontracted with the University of Michigan Dental School (UMSD) to rotate dental students into five community health centers to treat Medicaid beneficiaries. The five sites throughout Michigan are in diverse geographic and population areas. The outreach program is a joint partnership with the DCH, UMSD, and safety-net providers. The two main goals of this pilot program was to increase access to oral health care services for Medicaid beneficiaries, and increase students' competency as providers in caring for underserved populations. The grants provided for students room and board, transportation, student supervision, and resident stipends. The Michigan Department of Community Health contracted with the University of Michigan for the administration and academic support. UMSD provides supervision and guidance to the clinic sites regarding student rotations and distance learning. Dental clinic staff are educated in the teaching protocols and skills that are to be used in the teaching process with the students at the clinic sites. Dental clinic staff are also given adjunct faculty staff appointments to support their education and skills development. The sites are billed monthly for transportation, room and board, and teaching costs and the costs are settled by DCH. A separate contract with the UMSD and DCH helps to alleviate administrative and staff costs of the program. A formula has been developed to aid UMSD in receiving a Medicaid administrative match on their Medicaid teaching and education costs. From July 2000-June 2001, over 146 dental students, dental hygiene students, and dental residents rotated to five sites, averaging two weeks of service/learning experience at the community health centers. More than 8,606 additional Medicaid beneficiaries were treated at these five sites through this educational partnership. As a result, all five community health clinics have hired dentists who were former students of this program to join their dental staff. The University of Michigan uses this partnership as a recruitment tool to attract students to dental school.

Contact Person(s) for Inquiries:

Christine M. Farrell, RDH, BSDH, MPA, Oral Health Program Director, Division of Family & Community Health, Michigan Department of Community Health, 201 Townsend St., Lansing, MI 48913, Phone: 517-335-8388, Fax: 517-335-8697, Email: