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Yale New Haven Hospital’s (YNHH) Expanding Dental Homes for Head Start Children program visit to the LULAC Head Start at Fay Miller Center on April 20. The program provides pediatric dental care throughout the New Haven community.

A $50,000 grant from the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation funds the program. To meet the needs in the area, as well as solve for the COVID-19 restrictions still in place at local schools, YNHH has converted an RV to provide mobile dentistry to local Head Start children.

The pediatric mobile dental unit will be making stops to at least 20 different Head Start programs in New Haven and Waterbury over the next year.

YNHH’s program will provide preventive dental care and education to children ages six months to five years enrolled in early and preschool Head Start programs. The initial plan was to bring dental care into the Head Start locations; however, due to pandemic restrictions still in place, YNHH was not permitted to provide these services onsite. YNHH developed a solution by repurposing an RV formerly used as a mobile COVID-19 vaccine unit to bring care to Head Start children in the Greater New Haven area. Outfitted with dental equipment and supplies funded by the Delta Dental grant, the RV is where pediatric dentists and residents provide comprehensive dental care to at-risk children. Dental care provided includes dental exams, x-rays, dental cleanings, and fluoride treatments, as well as home care instruction.

In 2022, DDCT donated more than $316,096 to support local organizations maintaining the oral and overall health of more than 15,500 residents in the state, including uninsured and underinsured seniors, intellectually and developmentally disabled adults and children, disadvantaged children, and veterans.

Photo credits from left to right:

Tiera-lee Van Guilder, Account Manager, Delta Dental of Connecticut; Rosa I. Rentas, Account Manager, Delta Dental of Connecticut; Linda Bouttaphom, Clinical Manager- BSN; Maria Alvarado, Dental Supervisor; Cassandra Carlin, Director of Department of Dentistry YNHH; Ellen Schworn, Board Member, Delta Dental Foundation; Kim Elmore, Manager, Delta Dental Foundation; Lauren Dibenedetto, DDS Associate Program Director for Pediatric Dentistry; Dr. Brayden Crump, Pediatric Dental Resident; Dr. Nathan Tran, Chief Pediatric Dental Resident; Michael Sultan, DDS, Program Director for Pediatric Dentistry; Michael Johnson, DDS, Interim Chief, Department of Dentistry and Program Director for Oral Surgery; Adam Kennedy, DDS, Program Director for Adult Dental (GPR); Maureen McManus Hackett, Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts YNHH; Michael Schaffer, Vice President of Ambulatory Services YNHH.