Project Title

Predoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Romer Ocanto

Colleges / Centers

College of Dental Medicine

Funder

U.S. DHHS - Health Resources and Services Administration

Start Date

7-1-2017

Abstract

Overview: The proposed project Predoctoral Pediatric Training in General Dentistry aims to develop and implement an innovative oral health education and training program at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine (NSU-CDM) which focuses on vulnerable, underserved children ages 0-5, including children with special health care needs (SHCN). This initiative, a collaboration of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry with several community based partners, will enhance the predoctoral dental curriculum by addressing infant oral health/early childhood care, SHCN, and cultural competency and health literacy. The enhanced clinical training will also result in improved access to oral health care for vulnerable and underserved children. The program will build upon existing relationships between NSU-CDM and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Kids in Distress (KID), Mailman Segal Center (MSC) and Caridad Center. It will enhance predoctoral pediatric clinical training by providing community based clinical rotations that focus on vulnerable, underserved children. Specific Measurable Objectives: The proposed project addresses 3 gaps in the NSUCDM predoctoral dental curriculum that parallel gaps in the training of the dental workforce nationally. Our Goals are to: 1) Enhance predoctoral pediatric dental didactic training to address vulnerable, underserved children ages 0-5, including those with SCHN, specifically Autism; 2) Enhance predoctoral pediatric dental clinical training to address vulnerable, underserved children ages 0-5, including those with SCHN, specifically Autism; 3) Evaluate performance and impact. This project will build on our previous HRSA funded residency training programs by expanding the SHCN curriculum to the predoctoral dental students. The main objectives are as follows: 1) Increase predoctoral dental students’ knowledge of infant oral health/early childhood care; 2) Increase predoctoral dental students’ knowledge of oral health care for children with SHCN. 3) Increase predoctoral dental students’ knowledge of cultural competency and health literacy. Understanding cultural competency and health literacy will also increase access to care, especially in South FL, which is very culturally diverse. Other Objectives are related to enhanced clinical training at community based clinics and project evaluation. Education and training will be provided to approximately 1,750 dental students (D2, D3, D4) over the 5 year project period.

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