The Arc’s Operation House Call partnered with MassHealth and Tufts Dental Clinics to bring the Operation House Call curriculum and our lived experience to attendees at the Yankee Dental Congress on January 25, 2024.
Our session was called “Embracing Inclusive Dentistry – Integrating Patients with Developmental Disabilities into Your Practice.” Our OHC team followed a powerful session by Dr. Darren Drag, Dental Director at Tufts School of Dental Medicine.
Oral health disparities and access to oral health care are tremendous problems for people with autism and IDD. In fact, families report dental providers are the hardest to access for adults with disabilities. 50% of dental school Deans report that graduates are not equipped to treat patients with disabilities.
OHC aims to grow knowledge, confidence, and interest. Our team helps providers understand the best way to interact and support patients with autism or IDD, give them agency, and partner with parents and caregivers. Through foundational learning, storytelling, and examples of best practices, OHC makes a lasting impact.
Since the Operation House Call Law was passed in 2023, the program plans to expand to one dental school in 2024. “We really enjoyed the Yankee Dental Congress and our collaboration with MassHealth and Tufts Dental – we can’t wait until next year,” said Maura Sullivan, Director of Operation House Call.
Reactions from attendees were glowing. Remarks included the following:
- “Thank you again for putting together such a fantastic session!! It was powerful, moving, and illuminating. I laughed, I cried, and I learned. Truly, an incredible experience and I am so grateful that you could share it with so many people in the room.”
- “Heartfelt and informative.”
- “I loved everything about this session. Especially the panel. Very informative. I got a lot out of this course. Thank you to all.”
- “In my opinion, it was perfect. Best class I’ve taken at Yankee to date. Well done!”
- “Thank you so much for sharing this with us from both perspectives.”
- “Please consider doing it again next year.”
- “It was fantastic!”
- “Possibly a longer session – it was great.”
- “Have more on the panel who can give their experiences. Learning from their experiences is invaluable.”