NYS Awards Eastman Dental Center $3.9 Million to Increase Access

Golisano Children’s Hospital Awarded $500K for Telemedicine

October 01, 2008

Eastman Dental Center, of the University of Rochester Medical Center, has been awarded a $3.9 million state grant to increase access and capacity for Rochester’s underserved residents. Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong has been awarded $500,000 to optimize health care access through telemedicine.

Eastman Dental Center is the largest provider of oral health care to the underserved in the Rochester region. Care demands and dental emergencies have increased significantly since Genesee Hospital and Pluta Dental Center closed, leaving an overwhelming unmet need for early and regular oral health care among this population. Rochester has the highest rate of child poverty in New York, representing a significant challenge to improving overall health and well being.

“These funds will allow us to increase capacity and upgrade our facilities to meet this increasing demand for oral health care throughout our community,” said Dr. Cyril Meyerowitz, director of Eastman Dental Center.

As part of a broader re-engineering project, over the next three years, Eastman Dental Center will add six new treatment rooms as well as establish an Urgent Dental Care Clinic at its main campus on Elmwood Avenue. In addition, EDC will add four treatment rooms to its Downtown Oral Health Center, doubling its capacity to 8,600 visits per year.

“By expanding and reconfiguring our operations, we can now greatly improve our efficiency, and foster regular dental and medical care for all our patients, in an effort to keep our community healthy,” Meyerowitz said.

The critical importance of good oral health continues to gain national recognition as recent research shows links between oral health and heart health, diabetes, and low birth weight. Oral health problems are also one of the leading causes of absenteeism from school. 

Golisano Children’s Hospital’s Health-e-Access program also received a $500,000 HEAL grant to serve more residents of Rochester’s poorest neighborhoods with a telemedicine system that can diagnose and treat common childhood illnesses. This includes using mobile technology to serve additional school and childcare-based telemedicine sites and inviting all Rochester-area primary care practices to participate in the program.

In addition, this grant will allow Health-e-Access to expand by including after-hours care through two inner city neighborhood-based sites. When parents call their children’s physicians after hours and reach the existing Rochester Community Pediatric Telephone Triage system, they will have an additional choice to use telemedicine through a conveniently located site in their immediate neighborhood.

The grants are part of HEAL NY, which represents $280 million awarded to New York State non-profit clinics, hospitals, health departments and nursing homes to improve facilities and increase efficiency. Eastman Dental Center’s grant is the largest award in the central region.

“HEAL NY projects support the core of New York’s health care reforms by strengthening primary care, supporting further consolidations, and further implementing Berger commission recommendations to bring efficiency and effectiveness to New York’s health care system,” said Governor David A. Paterson.

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Karen Black
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