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Council Thanks UMD’s Health Equity for Providing Free Dental Service to Thousands

In last September, a free dental clinic and health equity festival at the University of Maryland provided an estimated $1.5 million worth of dental care to more than 1,200 people.

Organized by the University of Maryland School of Public Health’s Center for Health Equity in partnership with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival raised awareness about the national dental crisis which leaves many adults without access to affordable, routine dental care to prevent the need for emergency services.

The event was made possible by more than 1,600 volunteers from many organizations who undertook the huge, logistical challenge of turning the University of Maryland’s basketball arena (the XFINITY Center) into a temporary dental clinic, with 112 dental chairs and an x-ray center, along with a health equity festival providing free wraparound health services, including flu shots, eye exams, rapid HIV tests, pharmacy medications, and a wide array of patient education services. Dental clinic patients received services including cleanings, fillings, root canals and extractions; some patients received same-day crowns made by on-site milling units.

You can find more information about the event here at the wjla.

Dr. Stephen Thomas, the director of the Center for Health Equity, to came to last week’s council worksession and told us more about the event. The Health Equity plans to do a similar event again in future, most likely in two years.

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