Summary of Project:
The primary goal of this project was to ensure affordable access to care by covering the materials associated with a comprehensive oral care program for approximately 500 people. With the support of the International College of Dentists (ICD), H.O.P.E.’s dental clinic at ASB Hospital had quite the busy year! During the 2018 grant period, the clinic was able to surpass its goal by offering affordable access to care for 745 patients. Derivative goals included increased awareness of the importance of oral health care, and improving health outcomes by providing oral health care treatment at the dental clinic. All of which were achieved.
Total Number of Patients Served During Grant Period: 745
| Type & Number
|| On-site Outreach
|Total by Demographic
In addition to on-site dental care, ASB's public health outreach program was active throughout the community, utilizing its Mobile Medical Clinics and partnering with H.O.P.E.'s Women's Group, to educate pregnant mothers, parents and caregivers about the importance of good oral health. In November, H.O.P.E.’s dental clinic saw a flurry of activity. ICD member, Dr. Stephen Burgart, D.D.S. led a dental mission trip with fellow oral health care professionals to provide additional assistance in the delivery of oral health services, conduct an inventory assessment, and discuss ongoing needs for the dental clinic with ASB's resident dentist. The trip was not without hiccups, as their return to the airport required travel by sea due to road closures. The boat experienced mechanical issues and the team had to be rescued by the coast guard and escorted by police to catch their flight. Travel to Borgne often requires flexibility and comes with surprises of all kinds!
Dr. Donald Safferstein, D.D.S., and dental hygienist, Ivani Exinor, also visited Borgne to teach children in the community about proper dental hygiene. In addition to being Haitian-born, Iviani is an instructor at NYU School of Dental Hygiene and has a Masters of Public Health (what a fantastic role model for the children of Borgne!) While there, they distributed 600 home care kits, to help the children stay on top of their preventative dental care, and minimize the need for emergency dental treatments.
Benefits and impact to the community being served:
H.O.P.E. continues to evaluate its impact and ways in which its dental services can be improved upon. As demonstrated by the number of extractions conducted in 2018, there is still much work to be done in educating residents about the importance of preventative health. Overcoming rural healing myths remains a challenge in Borgne, but is something that will be affected in the long term through regular preventative care, and continued outreach and education, particularly to younger groups, in order to break this cycle.
Much has been learned over this grant period. ASB’s medical director, Dr. Thony Voltaire, had several thoughts on how to continue to educate and reach more people in the Borgne community. It was in his professional opinion that the best way to raise dental I.Q. is through mothers. The hospital has also been very successful in treating pregnant women in Borgne, and it would be beneficial to refer all pregnant women to the dental clinic for evaluation, treatment and education as part of their regular prenatal appointments. There can also be more collaboration between the medical and dental components at ASB. Hospital patients with diabetes and cardiac disorders should be referred to the dental clinic for basic dental care. These steps will help make the community more aware of the dental clinic and the services provided. The support of the International College of Dentists (ICD) for the ASB dental clinic allows H.O.P.E. to continue growing access to dental health in Borgne, which ultimately impacts the overall health and wellness of the community.