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Tuesday, August 10, 2021

FISA Foundation Responds to Dental Needs for Patients with Disabilities

Mary Anderson Sheehan Memorial Grant to Allegheny Health Network Designated to Improve Dental Care Experience for Patients with Disabilities

Pittsburgh, PA— Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Division of Dental Medicine is partnering with FISA Foundation to add specialty equipment at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) for patients with disabilities. Many patients with disabilities seeking dental services require some type of sedation, including intravenous and general anesthesia and have difficulty receiving care in a traditional office setting. AGH is one of only a few sites in the greater Pittsburgh area where such care can be rendered safely and with medical supervision.

Through a generous 2021 Mary Anderson Sheehan Memorial Grant from FISA Foundation, AHN will be able to improve accommodation of patients with disabilities to efficiently receive quality dental care and regular dental visits.

Grant funds will enable AHN to purchase equipment such as a portable dental x-ray unit that allows clinicians to use digital radiographs to determine appropriate treatment for the patient, thus expediting results while patients remain anesthetized. Education on the availability of services will also be shared with patients and staff in primary care settings across the Network to create awareness around increased access to dental care.

“The Division of Dental Medicine is excited and grateful to partner with FISA Foundation,” said Kathleen Driscoll, DMD, Director of Dental Medicine, Allegheny General Hospital. “Funding enables us to not only provide essential, timely, and quality dental care for a greater number of patients, but also to educate patients, their caregivers, and members of the medical primary care community about the importance of a patient’s oral health to their overall systemic health.”

“The dental care experience can often be burdensome and even frightening for patients with disabilities, leading to frustration and sometimes avoidance of care,” said Allie Quick, Chief Philanthropy Officer at AHN.  “As part of our initiative to increase the provision of care for individuals with disabilities, we wish to provide cutting edge technology for better quality care and access.”

“Oral health care is one of the top unmet healthcare needs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are very pleased to support AHN in their commitment to offering people with disabilities improved experience and access to dental care,” said Kristy Trautmann, Executive Director of FISA Foundation.  “Mary Anderson Sheehan was the founding President of FISA’s board and was committed to improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. We believe that this partnership will further her legacy and FISA Foundation’s commitment to accessible dental care.”

To learn more about AHN, please visit ahn.org and to learn more about the FISA Foundation, visit their website.

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