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08 September 2023

Indiana U unveils plan for Delta Dental Special Care Clinic

The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) and Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) are taking concrete action to address inequity in oral care for people with disabilities in Indiana. How? According to a university news story, the organizations will construct the new Delta Dental Special Care Clinic, which will serve Hoosiers with disabilities and complex medical conditions.

"Indiana University School of Dentistry is the only medical center in the state educating professionals to provide oral health care for people with disabilities or medically complex conditions," said Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, IUSD dean and interim IUPUI chancellor, in the story.

In 2020 and 2021, reports released by the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community recommended additional skills training for oral health professionals, and that people with disabilities, along with their families, require more accessible, affordable care from providers who are specifically trained to provide care to people with a range of disabilities.

"Many people with disabilities cite dental care as their number one unmet health care need," said Holli Seabury, executive director of the DDF. "Families may face years-long wait times and lengthy drives for a dental appointment — all while outstanding oral health issues escalate and overall health declines."

With this knowledge in mind, IUSD committed to building a new clinic to provide high-quality oral care to people with disabilities — and train the next generation of dentists to provide appropriate and compassionate care to them.

On June 16, 2023, the Indiana University Board of Trustees approved the construction of the Delta Dental Special Care Clinic, which is supported through a $2 million grant from the DDF. Construction is slated to begin in mid-2024.

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