UBC Dentistry’s New Initiative: Adopt a Long-Term-Care Facility

Spring 2011

UBC Dentistry has had a long relationship with the Simon K.Y. Lee Seniors Care Home and Villa Cathay Care Home, two long-term-care facilities located in Vancouver’s Chinatown. With past support from the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, UBC has been able to provide free oral health assessments and care for residents of these facilities.

The positive impact of providing dental care for residents of long-term-care facilities such as Simon K.Y. Lee and Villa Cathay cannot be overstated. The sooner dental disease and problems are detected and treated, the more discomfort and potential of life-threatening infections are minimized.

Adopt Long-term Care Facilities

When funding support for this community program came to a close, the Faculty re-evaluated the program and assessed the link to UBC Dentistry’s core values of enhancing the student experience, providing community service and optimizing research. Dr. Chris Wyatt, program director of the Graduate Prosthodontics Program and a leader in geriatric dentistry and research, has developed a multi-level program to “adopt” these long-term-care facilities through a newly created dynamic educational model.

This program will support a multi-faceted team learning environment involving the Geriatric Dentistry, DMD, Dental Hygiene and graduate programs, while having a significant impact on the quality of long-term care for more than 200 seniors at risk. This program provides truly accessible oral health care to these seniors, as well as a stable and ongoing learning and research opportunity in dental geriatrics for our students and faculty.

Funding to support this concept of community service learning is critical to its success. The Peter Young Foundation sees the value of this program in meeting needs and has generously provided the start-up funds to launch the program. “This generous gift will support not only the clinical education of dental students, dental hygiene students, general practice residents and graduate prosthodontics residents,” says Wyatt, “but will also provide much-needed dental care at no cost to frail elderly patients residing in two long-term-care homes.”