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Anthem grant supports dental care for underserved

by Kristina Goodnough - April 10, 2006

The Anthem Foundation of Indianapolis has donated $350,000 to the School of Dental Medicine to support its partnership with Charter Oak Health Center and expand dental services to the underserved.

Charter Oak, located on Grand Street in Hartford, currently has six dental chairs. It serves about 6,500 low-income dental patients annually.

The gift will be used to double the number of dental chairs at the community clinic by this summer, according to Dr. Peter J. Robinson, dean of the dental school.

“It’s a place where our students and residents have a more robust experience treating the poor and get a greater appreciation of their needs,” he says.

“In turn, because of their experience out in the community, the residents and students become more active providing care to this population when they finish their studies.”

Ultimately, the Health Center hopes to raise $1 million in philanthropic contributions to create as many as 24 dental treatment rooms and quadruple the number of dental patients treated at the facility. The dental school has students, residents and faculty members working in the Charter Oak Health Center and 10 other community clinics around the state.

Expanding Charter Oak’s capacity helps address the problem of access to dental health care, says David Fusco, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Connecticut.

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