Health - Campus & Community
Dental Clinic Expansion at Drexel’s Sheller 11th Street Health Center Fills Gap in Oral Health Services
The newly expanded and renovated dental offices at the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center will provide pediatric and adult services to a greater patient base in an underserved North Philadelphia community.
More than 45 percent of adults have not had a dental visit in the past year, and 27 percent of children have received no preventative dental care in the North Philadelphia neighborhood where the Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center of Drexel University operates. A new expansion to the health center’s dental clinic will address this gap and provide the community with much-needed access to oral health services.
The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services Center of Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions is a community-based, nurse-led health care home that has been recognized as a national model of integrated primary care. It is a collaboration between Drexel and Resources for Human Development’s Family Practice and Counseling Network.
A ceremony in November unveiled an expansion to the center, located at 850 N. 11th Street, which was made possible by a gift of $2.5 million from the Sheller Family Foundation. In addition to a new two-story wing, the center’s dental clinic also received a significant update.
The 11th Street center opened its dental practice in 2004, almost immediately approached capacity and then quickly surpassed it. Last year, the facility received 6,805 dental visits, and the waiting list for care for a non-emergency appointment was four weeks.
Now, the 11-year-old dental facilities have been remodeled, and four state-of-the-art treatment operatories have been added to the existing five. With this expansion, which nearly doubles its capacity, the dental clinic will provide both adult and pediatric services to a greater patient base in an underserved community.
A ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 4 p.m. at the health center will celebrate the opening of the newly renovated dental offices.
The dental practice is one of the many comprehensive health services that the center offers, including an on-site pharmacy, a fitness center, physical therapy, yoga, couple and family therapy, creative arts therapies and more. The center is located at the center of four public housing developments, offering affordable services to urban residents and all who seek care.
“Our dental clinics are a dental home for our patients, a place where they can feel welcome and comfortable receiving the care they need,” said Donna Torrisi, executive director of the Family Practice and Counseling Network. “11th Street represents the future of health care, especially for underserved populations, in that we care for the whole person, including their primary care, oral health care and mental and behavioral health.”