Spring 2015

A Dental ‘Oscar’

Clinics for patients with special needs win national award

Thousands of people with disabilities in Massachusetts, as well as their families, have counted on the statewide network of clinics known as the Tufts Dental Facilities Serving Individuals with Disabilities for almost 40 years. Now the program has been honored by organized dentistry.

In March, the TDF, as the clinics are called, received the Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement by an Academic Dental Institution. The William J. Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation and Achievement, presented annually by the ADEAGies Foundation, honor organizations and individuals that excel in their support of dental medicine and dental education.

“TDF is a national leader in fostering better health outcomes for patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says Mark Nehring, the Delta Dental of Massachusetts Professor and chair of public health and community service at the School of Dental Medicine. “We are honored to receive the distinction of outstanding achievement from the ADEAGies Foundation, which provides a platform for raising awareness about the oral health-care needs of persons with disabilities around the nation.”

TDF comprises eight clinics, seven of which are run in partnership with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, that provide care to more than 7,000 people with intellectual, developmental and acquired disabilities each year. The program is a national model in fostering better oral health for this underserved population.

Tufts School of Dental Medicine is the recipient of two previous Gies Awards: In 2011, for Outstanding Achievement by an Academic Dental Institution, and in 2012, when Esther Wilkins, D49, DG66, clinical professor of periodontics, won the award for Outstanding Achievement by a Dental Educator.

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A Dental ‘Oscar’

Clinics for patients with special needs win national award