The UConn School of Dental Medicine in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and Special Olympics Connecticut gathered at the DDS Norwich dental clinic to celebrate the unveiling of the newly renovated space and the collaborative efforts to expand the delivery of high quality dental care to individuals with intellectual disability. Located on the Uncas on Thames campus, the clinic will also provide dental residents from UConn an additional opportunity to treat patients with special health care needs.
“The positive impact of this partnership can be seen in all four corners of the state and even extending nationwide making Connecticut one of the lead states in this mission. Not only do our patients receive comprehensive dental care but DDS makes sure they have all the support they need ranging from transportation and scheduling to medical care,” said Dr. Steve Ruiz, Clinical Assistant Professor at the UConn School of Dental Medicine.
At the event, DDS Commissioner Jordan Scheff presented a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Steven M. Lepowsky, Senior Associate Dean for Education and Patient Care, Associate Professor and Chair, Division of General Dentistry, for his dedication to the oral health of individuals with disability. Dr. Lepowsky was also instrumental in facilitating UConn’s ongoing partnership with the clinic.
Caitlin Daikus, Senior Coordinator of Special Olympics CT, also presented information regarding her capstone project, the Special Smiles Dashboard, to show the positive impact of dental screenings provided to Special Olympic athletes as part of the Healthy Athletes Program. Ms. Daikus was also presented with a certificate for her dedication and tireless work with Special Olympics and their partners.
In closing, staff of the Norwich Dental Clinic accepted a certificate of appreciation from Thomas Dailey, Regional Director from the DDS South Region, for their daily commitment to providing high-quality dental care to individuals with intellectual disability.