Faculty members Dr. Paul Glassman and Christine Miller established the Community-Based System for Oral Health for People with Special Needs in an effort to coordinate local resources and needs. The Pacific Center for Special Care acts as a facilitator and resource provider for individuals in the community who are responsible for developing each local system.
- Promote oral health as a part of total health for persons with disabilities
- Develop local coalitions and coordinate existing local resources
- Develop new local resources
- Develop community-based preventive systems
There are 12 regional nonprofit centers in California using the Community-Based System that provide resources to help find and access the many services available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. They include:
- Redwood Coast Regional Center in Eureka
- Far North Regional Center in Redding
- North Bay Regional Center in Vallejo
- Alta California Regional Center in Sacramento and Roseville
- East Bay Regional Center in Oakland
- Central Valley Regional Center in Fresno
- Lanterman Regional Center in Los Angeles
- Harbor Regional Center in Long Beach
- Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino
- San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center in Pomona
- San Andres Regional Center
- Golden Gate Regional Center
Components of the Community-Based System
Community-Based Systems in most of the communities above include:
- A coalition of local community social service agencies including the regional center; dental and dental hygiene societies; hospitals; general health providers; and caregivers linked together by the dental coordinator.
- A triage and referral system managed by the dental coordinator.
- A computerized tracking system to manage triage, referral, tracking, and follow-up activities
- A hospital dentistry system to provide hospital dental treatment for those individuals who need this level of service.
- Integration of oral health issues with assessment, referral, planning, and tracking systems of the regional center.
- Continuing education courses provided to community dental professionals by the Pacific Center for Special Care.
- A hands-on provider training program to enhance the skills of community dental professionals who are willing to provide services to greater numbers of people with special needs.
- Groups and individual prevention training programs delivered by the dental coordinator.
- An Adopt-A-Home program where community dental professionals, often dental hygienists, adopt a home to provide counseling and support to establish an effective oral health prevention program in that home. Dental professionals have included students from local hygiene schools, dentists, hygienists, and nurses.