We work side-by-side to understand the connections between oral and general health.
CENTER FOR INTEGRATION OF PRIMARY CARE AND ORAL HEALTH (CIPCOH)
A national center that promotes the integration of oral health into primary care training and practice.
Through a $3.5 million dollar HRSA grant, the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) is collaborating with Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the University of Massachusetts Medical School to establish a national Center for Integration of Primary Care and Oral Health (CIPCOH). The Center’s research and activities will address the gaps in oral health integration in primary care training with special emphasis on adding training that will prepare primary care providers to deliver high quality, cost-effective, patient-centered care that promotes oral health, addresses oral health disparities and meets the unique needs of all communities.
CIPCOH will contribute to the improvement of primary care practice and patient outcomes by conducting systems-level research on primary care training, disseminating information, and developing a community of practice of stakeholders.
CRIMSON CARE COLLABORATIVE (CCC)
A network of student-faculty collaborative clinics that provide integrated care.
Crimson Care Collaborative clinics were started by Harvard Medical School students in the fall of 2010. Clinics, staffed with interdisciplinary health professions students, provide fully integrated care for vulnerable communities.
CCC at MGH-Chelsea and CCC at the Nashua Street Jail have fully integrated health and oral care delivery. A dental team, a medical team, a mental health services team, and a team offering training in substance use, oral care, and mindfulness operate in tandem. Clinics expose dental students to primary and public health care practice, and train future primary care providers in core oral health competencies.
As of May 2017, the program operates in six community-based clinical sites. More than 400 patients have been screened and treated and over 150 health-professions students have been trained at these thriving sites.
FOUNDATIONAL CONTINUITY CLINIC (FCC)
HSDM curriculum that teaches primary care skills to students in a dental clinic setting.
In this newly redesigned HSDM curriculum, first year dental students work alongside fourth year student mentors in a clinical setting to provide oral and primary care to HSDM patients. Students practice medical history taking and primary care skills under the supervision of both dentists and primary care physicians.
Studies have shown that chair-side primary care screening can identify chronic illnesses, including hypertension, diabetes, depression, substance use disorder, and HIV/AIDS. In addition to providing integrated care to patients, the program provides an innovative and practical learning opportunity for students at all stages of their training.