New model of care, Virtual Dental Home System, is funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation to serve low‐income, underserved older adults in the Greater Los Angeles Area
Glendale, Calif. Jan. 27, 2015 – The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW), a 501(C)(3) founded on the belief that technology innovation plays a vital role in enhancing wellbeing, announced a teledentistry project aimed to serve vulnerable seniors in the Greater Los Angeles area. The project is funded by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation and will advance the Virtual Dental Home (VDH) system, a new model of care created by the Pacific Center for Special Care, a community‐based policy and research center at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
The Virtual Dental Home, a community‐based oral health delivery system provides preventive and simple therapeutic services in community settings where people live or receive educational, social or general health services. This grant will bring oral health services to select Front Porch and Front Porch community partner locations. The FPCIW is the primary community partner and aims to serve 400 low‐ income seniors in affordable housing communities and senior centers over the next three years.
“The Virtual Dental Home system gives us an opportunity to reach a population of older adults who face obstacles to receiving dental care because of financial and cultural challenges,” said Kari Olson, president of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing.
As people age, dental care is important to maintaining health and wellbeing. But older adults, especially those who are low‐income, are 30 percent less likely than their peers to visit a dentist, according to a 2011 medical expenditure report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Linguistic barriers and different cultural perceptions on dental health care further increase the need for a community‐based approach.
FPCIW’s role in the project will be to conduct and coordinate outreach activities with partner sites where first‐level dental care intervention will be performed on‐site by dental hygienists using portable x‐ ray machines, store‐forward technology, and electronic health records.
“This funding is a great opportunity to introduce the Virtual Dental Home system to a new population, demonstrate the versatility of the system, and help get dental care to a group of people who need it most,” said Paul Glassman, DDS, MA, MBA, director of the Pacific Center for Special Care. “We are fortunate to be able to work with Front Porch and take advantage of their extensive outreach experience in serving a vulnerable senior population.”
“We’re looking forward to this partnership with the Pacific Center for Special Care that will help bring much needed dental care and education to older adults at the places where they’re most comfortable— in their homes or neighborhood community centers,” said Davis Park, director of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. “This project will help create a new and sustainable model for teledentistry that, in the future, can hopefully impact a higher level of underserved adults throughout California.”
The FPCIW will work with partners, including affordable housing locations managed by CARING Housing Ministries and several senior centers throughout Los Angeles. The project will be equipped to serve seniors through multiple languages.
About the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing
The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing is part of Front Porch, one of Southern California’s largest not‐for‐profit providers of retirement living communities and affordable housing. The Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing strives to harness technology solutions that support and enhance wellbeing in older adults. The Front Porch Center’s core initiatives focus on how technology can: assist in maintaining brain health; enhance social connectedness; promote engagement and growth; empower control over health and wellness; prevent emergencies or serious events; and increase resources and support for formal and informal caregivers. More information is available at www.fpciw.org.
About Front Porch
Front Porch is a not‐for‐profit support system for a family of companies that serve individuals and families through full‐service retirement, active adult communities, affordable housing communities through CARING Housing Ministries and related management and development services. No two Front Porch communities are alike! Each community is as unique as the individuals who live in them. Front Porch active adult and full‐service retirement communities offer a full range of options from independent living to skilled care, including assisted living and memory support in unique settings.
Specialized programs like the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, Front Porch Gallery and affiliated Centers for Spirituality and Aging support the Front Porch belief in understanding and meeting needs so that residents can live life their way. Front Porch is expanding its ‘human serving’ capabilities with its commitment to ‘Humanly PossibleSM’, a cultural imperative that harnesses the innovative spirit of all of its staff in an effort to do whatever is humanly possible to meet emerging needs in the communities it serves now and in the future. With innovative communities and programs that meet the changing needs of people as they age, Front Porch represents a leading‐edge approach to enhance wellbeing. Front Porch is comprised of 10 full‐service retirement communities in California and two adult living communities: one in Louisiana and one in Florida. Front Porch also serves individuals and families through more than 20 affordable housing communities managed by Front Porch’s affiliate, CARING Housing Ministries. Front Porch, based in Glendale, Calif. and founded in 1999, is a not‐for‐ profit organization that gives back to its residents and the communities it serves. More information is available at www.frontporch.net.
For Immediate Release
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