February 11, 2009
For the homeless, getting to the dentist is a challenge at best - and that's where Project Homeless Connect comes in. As part of this outreach event, students and faculty members provided free dental screenings and oral surgery -- $20,000 worth -- to 100 homeless San Franciscans on February 11.
Throughout the day, dental school volunteers, including more than 25 students, offered free dental screenings to homeless people at the Bill Graham Auditorium. Following the oral health assessments, Project Homeless Connect clients who needed emergency dental care were transported to the dental school's Oral Surgery Clinic, where 34 received treatment.
"There is a growing unmet need for dental care provided to our homeless citizens," said Manu Chaudhry, DDS Class of 2009, " Our team of city volunteers, student-dentists, an oral surgeon and staff at Pacific/Dugoni transformed lives and have thus empowered our underserved citizens of San Francisco."
Volunteers from the dental school have been providing oral health care services through Project Homeless Connect since 2007. To date, nearly 800 homeless San Franciscans have received dental screenings, teeth cleanings, restorations or much-needed oral surgery as result of this effort.
Project Homeless Connect was launched in San Francisco in October 2004. Today, the volunteer and outreach event is emulated in 200 cities across the United States as well as Canada, Puerto Rico and Australia. Every other month over 1,000 community volunteers partner with city government, non-profits and the private sector to provide a one-stop shop of health and human services for homeless San Franciscans.
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