The new state-of-the-art multimillion dollar wing includes 35 new clinical operatories
The Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine celebrated the grand opening of its newly renovated and expanded multimillion dollar Dental Care Center at an event on October 24. The Dental Care Center provides care to more than 13,000 patients annually and is the largest provider of oral health care services on Long Island. In 2012 the Dental Care Center had 65,000 patient visits.
The new wing will enable the School to provide primary oral health care services and specialty treatments to approximately 20 percent more patients, including many who are underserved. The expansion was made possible through a $3.17 million New York State Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law (HEAL) Grant and matching funds supported by the School of Dental Medicine. It includes 35 new clinical operatories, each of which has state-of-the-art equipment used for comprehensive oral health exams and dental treatment. Accompanying the expansion is an increase in the number of oral health care providers and support staff to accommodate the Dental Care Center’s growing patient base and need for follow-up visits for preventive care and treatment.
The grand opening event also included an unveiling of the School of Dental Medicine Donor Wall, situated in the renovated Dental Care Center Waiting Room. The Donor Wall acknowledges those who have generously supported the School in the past and will embrace the next wave of donors who will be instrumental in the future growth of the School. The Donor Wall includes the names of those who have committed $5,000 or more in gifts to the School.
“Oral health care is integral to overall health, and this expansion will have an enormous impact on the health of many more patients,” said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, MACP, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine. “The Dental Care Center has a broad reach within our Long Island community. As a result of its affordable fees and participation in dental Medicaid programs, the Center has become the safety net for the poor, for pediatric and geriatric patients with medical conditions, and for patients with special needs.”
“New York State’s investment in our Dental Care Center and the incredible generosity of our donors will help the School of Dental Medicine further expand our clinical services, research programs and educational mission,” said Ray C. Williams, DMD, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “Clearly these investments in our School will continue to advance dental care for so many of our citizens.”
Drs. Kaushansky and Williams both recognized the support of elected officials at the ceremony, which included NY State Senators John Flanagan and Kenneth LaValle, and Assemblymen Michael Fitzpatrick and Steve Englebright. Each of the legislators spoke about the importance of the Dental Care Center expansion because of the thousands of patients it serves, access to specialized dental care services, and most importantly because it helps the citizens of Suffolk County who are most in need of comprehensive oral health care services.
Enacted into law, the HEAL NY program is designed to increase healthcare services to the population, including primary care, improve coordination and management of care, and implement a 21st Century health information infrastructure to support the delivery of high quality care across the state.
The expansion and renovation of Stony Brook’s Dental Care Center meets these objectives with the addition of the new operatories and oral health care services to treat more patients. In addition, there is improved care for patients requiring emergency oral health services by creating the dental emergency clinic.
“As a result of the HEAL grant, we are able to deliver outstanding oral health care services to a larger portion of the underserved population in Suffolk County, both in our expanded Dental Care Center, and at a variety of locations through the use of our mobile dental clinic,” said Allan Kucine, DDS, HEAL Project Manager and Acting Chair of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
In 2011, the School established the Mobile Oral Health Services Clinic in which access to primary care is provided to communities that lack transportation or an insufficient number of providers. To date the mobile clinic has provided services at community centers, schools and Suffolk County Department of Health sites.