From the Harford County Health Department:
In response to the enormous need for dental care among the homeless community, the Harford County Health Department Dental Clinic and dental implants manchester uk held a homeless dental clinic on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at its facility in Edgewood, MD. The program expanded upon a larger initiative that took place previously at the Epicenter in Edgewood, Maryland.
That January 28th event, called “Project Homeless Connect” offered lunch and free transportation to and from five checkpoints around the County as well as free pick-up and return trips upon request. The occasion provided access to Harford’s local homeless and at-risk populations to more than 50 informational resources and services and attracted more than 400 participants to the day-long event. Giveaways included groceries, winter clothing, energy assistance, cell phones and more.
Eighty (80) individuals who were there requested dental extractions or implant crowns but due to time constraints, only about half of them received care that day. In order to attend to those among the remaining 40, the Harford County Health Department and the United Way of Central Maryland (the lead on Project Homeless Connect) partnered to coordinate a separate event on Saturday, March 12th. Representatives of both organizations helped staff the event that included dentists and dental assistants, a medical transportation coordinator, clerical and administrative personnel.
“Patients received dental exams, dental x-rays, and a great many extractions were performed to treat the extensive decay and considerable pain experienced by most participants”, remarked HC Director of Administration and Dental Clinic Manager Marcy Austin, “But, above all, they were all extremely grateful as was reflected in their many hugs and handshakes.”
Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly states, “Homeless persons face significant barriers to the most basic health needs, such as nutrition, safety, and shelter, while barriers to meeting additional health needs, such as those requiring health services are even greater. While seeking economic solutions for our country, we cannot forget our most vulnerable citizens.”
The Health Department’s Dental Clinic, located at 2204 Hanson Road in the Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center in Edgewood, provides dental care to children ages 1 – 20 who are enrolled in the Maryland Children’s Health Program (MCHP) and to pregnant women on MCHP.
More information about the Harford County Health Department Dental Clinic’s services is available at www.harfordcountyhealth.com or by calling 443-922-7670. Those interested in additional information on homeless resources can contact Kristle Fullerton, LCSW-C at the Harford County Health Department at 410-638-3060