NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Feb. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A $1.5 Million Gift from Delta Dental of New Jersey to the Foundation of UMDNJ, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, will allow New Jersey Dental School (NJDS) to expand and modernize its special care center to increase access to quality dental care for patients with severe cognitive or physical impairments.
The new Delta Dental Special Care Center will consist of eight dedicated operatories and a new, private reception area. The Center will be built alongside the pediatric dental clinic that will be renovated on the dental school's Newark campus.
"UMDNJ delivers dentistry to thousands of underserved people in New Jersey, and no population is more worthy than those with special needs," said Ronald Deblinger, DMD, chairman, Delta Dental of New Jersey. "We are proud to partner with UMDNJ to help this population access dental care."
This is the latest in gifts representing support from Delta Dental for New Jersey Dental School dating back to 1991. In 2005, a $2 million gift, the largest in the school's history, established the Delta Dental Educational Conference Center in the Oral Health Pavilion, the largest auditorium on any UMDNJ campus.
"We are delighted that Delta Dental continues to work with us to provide invaluable support to New Jersey Dental School, its patients, its faculty and its students," said George F. Heinrich, MD, vice chair and CEO of the Foundation. "This gift will make a significant impact to improve the dental health of the special needs community, and to provide a valuable venue for teaching future dentists about the unmet needs of these patients."
Today there are more than 10,000 patient visits to the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic at the school, and approximately 4,000 patients treated in the Special Care Center. Unfortunately, this represents only a fraction of the needs of thousands of children under the age of 14 in Newark and the special needs population throughout the state.
According to Cecile Feldman, DMD, MBA, dean of the Dental School, few providers in the state are willing or able to provide the space and services needed to offer dental care to patients with such disabilities as spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or Autism.
"Because there are so few facilities in New Jersey that provide dental care for special needs patients, they have great difficulty receiving necessary treatment," explained Dr. Feldman. "Our new clinic will enable us to expand to more fully meet the needs of this special patient population."
About New Jersey Health Foundation
New Jersey Health Foundation (www.njhealthfoundation.org,) established in 2002 as a not-for-profit public charity, is the parent company to the Foundation of UMDNJ (www.foundationofumdnj.org), which solicits private sector support for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and to Foundation Venture Capital Group, LLC, (www.foundationventure.com) which makes private equity investments in start-up technology companies founded by researchers affiliated with the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey.
About Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc.
Delta Dental of New Jersey Inc. is New Jersey's leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.5 million people through contracts with employers in New Jersey and Connecticut. The Delta Dental system offers seamless dental benefits administration for employer groups throughout the country and has the largest network of dentists in the nation. For more information, visit www.deltadentalnj.com.
SOURCE New Jersey Health Foundation