||Rochester's Collaborative School-Based Dental Program
d. What relationships are important to establish
with the host facility?
Collaboration with community members continues to be a core component of the program. Sound solutions rely on the support of individuals, health care providers, communities, and policymakers at all levels of society. Partnerships exist with the county and state through surveillance projects that address the health needs of each community; with foundations, which provide the start-up capital; and with the school districts, to help address issues impacting children's abilities to learn and succeed. Specific partners and their respective roles are:
- City School District: Has been an integral partner in the program since its inception, and its continued involvement is critical to the Smilemobile's success. The district helps select school locations, works on logistics (e.g., space for the unit, electricity, water lines, custodial services), manages permission/consent forms, and actively endorses the program to students and parents.
- Head Start: Organizes Smilemobile visits for its students throughout the year.
- County Health Department: Helps to organize the annual community dental assessments.
- Rural County Health Departments: Three rural county health departments host the Smilemobile during the summer, actively educating low-income families on the availability of dental services.
- State Health Department: Provides data to help pinpoint poverty stricken areas, and funds the annual community assessments.
- Utility Company: Provides free electricity for each of the Smilemobiles.
- Community Volunteer Dentists: Since access to oral health care for patients enrolled in Medicaid remains inadequate, Eastman Dental Center's joint venture with the 7th District Dental Society is an innovative solution that can be a model for increasing care for the underserved. Beginning in September of 2005, community dentists not affiliated with the Center began volunteering their services. To date, five volunteers have worked 135 hours, providing 148 treatment visits.
- Partnership with the local dental society is crucial.