While social work has historically played an important role in medical health care, dentistry has for the most part, not included a social work model of care as part of its operation. Except a few, like Eastman Dental, whose social workers for the last 15 years have been quietly making significant contributions to patient care, resident/faculty education and program development. Read more about Social Work at Eastman Dental »
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Read About Social Work's Impact on Patients and EIOH Residents
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Abused Teen Finds Help at Eastman Dental
Health Ministry Provides Oral Health Screenings
Social Work and Pediatric Dentistry: Partnering to Serve the Whole Patient
Lenora Colaruotolo, LMSW, Wins URMC Excellence Award
(please check back for updates-many more articles to be added soon)
Meet Our Social Workers
Lenora A. Colaruotolo is a Licensed Master Social Worker who has provided social work services at Eastman Institute for Oral Health since 2004. She is committed to providing faculty, residents and staff with resources and its patients with support services designed to reduce barriers, enhance adherence to treatment, and improve health outcomes. Her years of social work experience include delivering an array of preventive, clinical, and supportive services to enhance patient care and safety. Lenora is dedicated to the integration of social work within dentistry, which has positively impacted resident education, clinical care, research, and program development. Some of her contributions include resident/faculty education on critical psychosocial issues such as child maltreatment and intimate partner violence, development and implementation of grant-funded projects that utilize trained paraprofessionals to address oral health disparities, interdisciplinary collaboration with dental residents and faculty on research activities, patient advocacy, oral health promotion within the community, and the creation of three separate patient assistance funds to meet uncovered care-related expenses. Lenora received her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science from the University of Rochester and her Master of Social Work degree from the Greater Rochester Collaborative. She joined the Cleft & Craniofacial Team at Golisano Children’s Hospital in January 2007 and has taught undergraduate and graduate level social work courses since 2014.
Renee Gelsomino, is a Licensed Master Social Worker and has been with URMC since 2001. From 1996-1998, she worked with developmentally disabled adults prior to and while attending graduate school. In 2000, she earned a MSW from Roberts Wesleyan College. Renee started at URMC/Strong Memorial Hospital as a per diem social worker the emergency room. Throughout her time at URMC, she has worked as a social worker in the Psychiatric Emergency Room, Wilmot Cancer Center, Pediatric Endocrinology clinic, Pediatric/OB units, Strong Pediatric Practice, and Strong West emergency room. Today, she still provides social work coverage to both Strong Emergency and Strong West Emergency Rooms. These work experiences have all been opportunities to learn, collaborate, help families and patients, and contribute to the community and supporting the University’s mission. Since 2014, Renee has worked closely with Lenora Colaruotolo, LMSW, as a social worker at Eastman Institute for Oral Health. Within this role, she has helped provide support, resources, and advocacy to patients and families, and has consulted and collaborated with staff, faculty, and residents to help improve outcomes of various patient situations. In her spare time, Renee likes to read, spend time with her family, and teach group exercise classes at the Y.
What Our Patients Say About Us
“I truly want to thank Elise for all the assistance she gave my family and me. It has been a rough year for us. Regular dental check ups were not a priority on our list. Elise was very kind and patient with my rowdy kids! She offered us information, toothbrushes, and fun goodies for the little ones. She also provided us with an amazing and helpful program called "Strong Teeth" which has made things so convenient for me, a single mother with limited transportation. I was able to schedule the children's doctor and dental appointments on the same day! Elise even took the time to personally walk us over to Eastman Dental. She is a shining star and should be commended for her dedication to a wonderful program!”
—A Grateful Mother of Young Patients
Dr. Chia Taw Huang
Barbara Jackson first learned about Eastman Dental through Head Start, a preschool for her great-grandson Adrian, which requires a dentist visit to enroll.
At the time, Mrs. Jackson was going through the process of getting legal custody of Adrian, so he was not on her insurance yet. Shortly afterwards, Adrian took a fall and cracked his tooth. After praying about the situation, she called Eastman Dental and made an appointment at its School #17 location.
“Even though Adrian was uninsured, they still cared for him,” Ms. Jackson said. “From the very first time I went there, I was so impressed. They have a caring spirit there, and it shows.”
Dr. Huang extracted Adrian’s tooth, and later provided treatment in the operating room to take care of some present decay as well as implement preventive measures for him.
“Dr. Huang took great care of us,” Mrs. Jackson said. “and Lenora did whatever she could to help me. She and Colleen were very kind. They would call and check how he’s doing. Everyone there is very helpful and concerned.