The University of Louisville (UofL) has formed an innovative public/private partnership with nonprofit Community Dental to provide a multidisciplinary healthcare home for Kentucky children enrolled in the Medicaid program.
The two organizations will work to meet both the dental and medical needs of the children at colocated facilities, according to a statement by Gov. Steve Beshear.
"Our citizens face a number of significant health issues, not the least of which is oral health," Gov. Beshear said. "One of the most effective ways to combat chronic health conditions is to identify potential problems early and address them. This means ensuring that our children have easy access to the healthcare they need and deserve. This partnership seeks to meet that need, not just medical care, but also dental care. Through the creation of a health home for children, we believe we will be able to reverse some of the major health problems facing Kentucky."
Community Dental of Kentucky is a full-service dental organization designed to increase access to health care in underserved communities. The clinic specializes in meeting the oral health needs of Medicaid beneficiaries, a population that has historically lacked sufficient access to dental services.
Community Dental is patterned after Sarrell Dental, an Alabama-based nonprofit that provides oral care for children on Medicaid.
Earlier this year, Gov. Beshear launched kyhealthnow, an initiative aimed at attacking the causes of many of the significant healthcare issues faced by the people of the commonwealth, such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and oral health.
"We continue to uncover the links between dental and medical health," David L. Dunn, MD, PhD, UofL executive vice president for health affairs, said in a statement. "Colocating primary care sites for both dentistry and pediatrics enables the interprofessional collaboration that can truly impact the disease state of many people. This partnership has the potential to be a national model for providing preventive care to children."