By Alison Bailin Batz
Opened in 2019, the Pacific Dental Services (PDS) Foundation Dentists for Special Needs is a family-friendly, sensory-integrated nonprofit dental office located at 4550 E Bell Road in North 32nd. The nonprofit center supports patients with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, including autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia, paraplegia, cerebral palsy, and many others. The clinic features specially designed, wheelchair accessible, sensory integrated spaces for dental care with televisions on the ceiling and doors for privacy. It even has a unique room with two chairs to provide space for siblings to allow for modeling behavior.
“Since opening, the PDS Foundation Dentists for Special Needs has grown to serve on average 200 patients per month, providing services that include routine dental checkups, fillings, silver diamine fluoride, crowns, and emergency dental care,” says Kyle Guerin, executive director of the PDS Foundation.
Given the immense need in the community for a dental service like this, Delta Dental of Arizona, through its Foundation, recently announced a $100,000 grant to support the organization. Through the grant, a two-year investment of $50,000 per year, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation will support patient care, including financial assistance for those who are uninsured.
“The PDS Foundation Dentists for Special Needs provides the appropriate accommodations for patients with physical disabilities, as well as sensitivity to sensory stimuli like speech, sound, and light. David Jourabchi, DDS, specializes in treating patients using sensory and behavioral coping strategies, which is a positive step toward ensuring access to dental care for everyone across Arizona,” says Allan Allford, Delta Dental of Arizona president and chief executive officer. “Delta Dental’s mission is to improve lives by promoting optimal oral health; making investments in organizations like this brings us one step closer to seeing this mission realized.”
“This grant will ensure that we can continue to offer services to all individuals in a way that is comfortable and safe for them,” says Guerin.
This is one of many investments Delta Dental of Arizona has made to support oral health across Arizona and is in addition to its 2021 Foundation grants, which awarded nearly $775,000 to 30 local organizations to support oral health services and education. In addition, according to the recently released Delta Dental Institute’s 2020 Community Impact Report highlighting the investments the Delta Dental companies and their Foundations made in 2020 to advance oral health, respond to COVID-19, and address health inequities and disparities, Delta Dental of Arizona impacted the lives of 346,818 individuals in Arizona by investing $1,787,734 in 54 community impact programs.