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Eastern Shore Rural Health System Dental Program: Partnering with Accomac County Public Schools, Eastern Shore of Virginia Dr. Noel Root, Dental Director Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. December 8, 2011
Brief History• 16 years of providing dental care for children in Accomack County Public Schools (ACPS)• 1997, Awarded:”Models That Work” by Marilyn Gaston, MD, Assistant Surgeon General• Ongoing resource development: Virginia Health Care Foundation, HRSA & ACPS
Features of Current Program• Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with ACPS to provide full dental services at facilities adjacent to 2 elementary schools.• Both dental sites are open 5 days a week ,year round.• Able to bring children from class for diagnostic, preventive and treatment procedures.• Allows for improved access to care for elementary students during the school day.
Features of Current Program• Services are available to patients ages of 2-18 from other schools at our after school program.• Most dental insurances are accepted including Virginia Medicaid. A sliding fee schedule is available for uninsured patients.• MOAs with Headstart and Migrant Headstart programs allow increased access to our preschool children by providing transportation.• A summer program is at the schools through parks and recreation and provides opportunities to treat the Hispanic children that attend.
Achievements:2005-2010• Increased patient visits at both sites from 3,795 to 5,843 per year• Increased number of patients from 1689 to 2104• The addition of a part time pediatric dentist increased our ability to treat children with more complex problems as well as improving our referral network for those children requiring sedation.• Implemented a recall system that helps to insure that most established patients are seen for follow-up preventive care and patient education twice a year.
Current Challenges• Reduced reimbursement from Virginia Medicaid affects revenue significantly• School Activities (benchmark testing, SOL’s) and school closings are somewhat unpredictable and can drastically reduce productivity.• Limited access to children attending other schools. Students moving from elementary school to middle school often get lost from our recall system due to reduced convenience and lack of reinforcement.
Possible solutions to challenges• Developing an outreach program using new technology in a portable format to address the diagnostic and preventive needs of students (pre-school to high school) at multiple school locations.• Implement electronic dental record enabling us to provide referral for follow-up treatment and continuity of care for patients regardless of where treatment planning is done.• New Atlantic Center will have an Oral Health wing with designed emphasis on treating younger patients. Location more convenient to high density of underserved population.
Our Vision:• Eastern Shore Rural Health System shall be the provider of choice for primary and preventive services offering comprehensive care of exceptional quality for all people on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.