Community-Based System

Faculty members Dr. Paul Glassman and Christine Miller established the Community-Based System for Oral Health for People with Special Needs in an effort to coordinate local resources and needs. The Pacific Center for Special Care acts as a facilitator and resource provider for individuals in the community who are responsible for developing each local system.

  • Promote oral health as a part of total health for persons with disabilities
  • Develop local coalitions and coordinate existing local resources
  • Develop new local resources
  • Develop community-based preventive systems

There are 12 regional nonprofit centers in California using the Community-Based System that provide resources to help find and access the many services available to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. They include:

  • Redwood Coast Regional Center in Eureka
  • Far North Regional Center in Redding
  • North Bay Regional Center in Vallejo
  • Alta California Regional Center in Sacramento and Roseville
  • East Bay Regional Center in Oakland
  • Central Valley Regional Center in Fresno
  • Lanterman Regional Center in Los Angeles
  • Harbor Regional Center in Long Beach
  • Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino
  • San Gabriel/Pomona Regional Center in Pomona
  • San Andres Regional Center
  • Golden Gate Regional Center
Components of the Community-Based System

Community-Based Systems in most of the communities above include:

  • A coalition of local community social service agencies including the regional center; dental and dental hygiene societies; hospitals; general health providers; and caregivers linked together by the dental coordinator.
  • A triage and referral system managed by the dental coordinator.
  • A computerized tracking system to manage triage, referral, tracking, and follow-up activities
  • A hospital dentistry system to provide hospital dental treatment for those individuals who need this level of service.
  • Integration of oral health issues with assessment, referral, planning, and tracking systems of the regional center.
  • Continuing education courses provided to community dental professionals by the Pacific Center for Special Care.
  • A hands-on provider training program to enhance the skills of community dental professionals who are willing to provide services to greater numbers of people with special needs.
  • Groups and individual prevention training programs delivered by the dental coordinator.
  • An Adopt-A-Home program where community dental professionals, often dental hygienists, adopt a home to provide counseling and support to establish an effective oral health prevention program in that home. Dental professionals have included students from local hygiene schools, dentists, hygienists, and nurses.