The Dental Van Senior Citizen Initiative is seeking to ensure every single person in NYC has access to good dental care. During August, the program – the brainchild of NYU Dentistry – focused on providing assistance to the elderly living in Queens.

The Dental Van was stationed in Queens at the Greater Springfield Community Church (GSCC) which has a reputation for being a place where many “undeserved elderly residents” currently reside in New York.   For a few days in the middle of August, seniors who arrived there were offered complimentary oral screenings from a member of the NYU Dentistry team.

In addition, Pastor of the GSCC, Reverend Phil Craig has received a list of additional Dental Van visit dates throughout 2016.  Then for next year, dates will be provided later on.   The Reverend was extremely pleased by the initiative, saying: “Such a program as this is much needed when we are experiencing program cuts and insurance restructuring where the clients services are negatively impacted.  [It] is viewed as a blessing to those I have already spoken to. I am confident this is only the beginning and the best is yet to come.”

According to Dr. Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, head of NYU Dentistry, “There are many reasons why our aging population has difficulty receiving the dental care they need.  Many of these reasons include a shortage of dental providers trained and willing to care for an increasingly medically compromised aging America, including those suffering from debilitating and life-threatening illnesses. Many of the difficulties associated with receiving care include problems for aging patients in physically reaching the dentist because of transportation problems or being homebound.”

Leroy Comrie, New York State Senator added:
“I want to thank NYU College of Dentistry for reaching out to our community and volunteering their time and skill in order to provide high quality dental services to people, especially seniors and children, who lack access. Our host and co-sponsor Reverend Phil Craig of the Greater Springfield Community Church and NYU Dentistry’s program administrator Constance-Robinson Turner were instrumental in making this effort a reality. I also want to thank Councilman I. Daneek Miller and the NYC Council for continuing to fund this program, which I was happy to support when I was a Council member.”

Over the years the NYU Dental Van has brought crucial services to those who need a cleaning, screening, exams as well as important information on how to keep teeth healthy for many years.  There are way too many seniors who struggle financially and do not have dental care plans and this situation has to be rectified.  The Van is a great start.

© 2017 DRY HARBOR