On February 3, 2023, Woods Services, a Pennsylvania- and New Jersey-based nonprofit organization that serves children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, one of the leading dental schools in the United States, cut the ribbon on Penn Dental Medicine at Woods, Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center. The state-of-the-art dental care center on Woods’ Langhorne, Pa., campus, is providing enhanced and leading-edge dental treatment for Woods clients and residents. Starting in March 2023, services will expand to include the surrounding disability community, including former clients and residents of Woods who are still in need of care.
Residents and staff of Woods Services, doctors and representatives of Penn Dental Medicine, donors, and community members participated in the opening ceremony, which featured remarks from Tine Hansen-Turton, Woods president and CEO; Dr. Mark Wolff, Morton Amsterdam Dean of Penn Medicine; and Dr. Marc Henschel, director of Penn Dental Medicine’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program. Attendees also joined a tour of Penn Dental Medicine at Woods, Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center, which includes five operatories with state-of-the-art equipment, quiet space for those needing a lower-stimulation environment, a waiting area and reception check-in, and conference room.
In addition to meeting the dental care needs of individuals with disabilities, Penn Dental Medicine at Woods, Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center is helping prepare the next generation of dentists to care for patients with disabilities.
“Woods is pleased to announce our partnership with the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and to work with the school’s dean, Dr. Mark Wolff, to enhance dental services for our clients and residents,” said Tine Hansen-Turton, president and CEO, Woods Services. “Penn’s personalized care and interdisciplinary team approach are perfectly aligned with Woods, as is its emphasis on preparing the next generation of dentists to care for patients with special needs. Penn’s dentists are now able to perform procedures at our on-campus dental clinic that in the past would have required a visit to a specialist for treatment. This expansion of services will be less disruptive for our clients, further enhancing their quality of life,” she said.
Dr. Mark Wolff was appointed in 2018 as the new Morton Amsterdam Dean at Penn Dental Medicine and brought with him international renown as a pioneer and leader in teaching and providing care for patients with special oral health needs. Upon arrival, he established dental care for persons with disabilities as a priority for the school and set about raising money, renovating a space, and hiring team members, each with 20+ years of experience treating patients with special health care needs. In 2021, Penn Dental Medicine opened the state-of-the-art Care Center for Persons with Disabilities at Penn Dental Medicine, and under his leadership, Penn has established a national reputation for excellence in treating the dental needs of people with disabilities and in training dental students to care for these individuals.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our service and care within the community through this Woods partnership,” says Dean Wolff. “It not only allows us to help provide comprehensive care to the Woods clients, but also offers an invaluable setting for our students to gain experience caring for individuals with a wide range of disabilities.” Postgraduate students within Penn Dental Medicine’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry program will provide clinical care at the center under close faculty supervision.
Woods’ existing dental clinic was extensively renovated and modernized to create Penn Dental Medicine at Woods, Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center, with renovations and operational expenses made possible through generous donations from foundations and individuals. Woods Services is grateful to the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation for supporting start-up operational expenses for Penn Dental Medicine at Woods, Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center, and to the Joseph and Mary Faulkner Family Foundation, Eamon Foundation, The McLean Contributionship, TD Charitable Foundation, and Simon and Lisa Kimmelman for supporting the renovations. The waiting room renovation was made possible by the Joseph and Mary Faulkner Family Foundation.
Woods is organized around the principles of population health management and addresses the social determinants of health through a comprehensive continuum and system of care that connects prevention, wellness, education, behavioral health, and social services with coordinated and integrated healthcare delivery. “The Medical Center at Woods serves as a national model for providing comprehensive, coordinated personalized care for people with complex diagnoses and medical conditions, like Mikey Faulkner, current Woods client and the clinic’s namesake,” Hansen-Turton said. “The opening of Penn Dental Medicine at Woods, Mikey Faulkner Dental Care Center continues Woods’ commitment to providing an integrated healthcare experience for our clients – an approach that optimizes outcomes for individuals.”