$60K gift provides more access to dental care

The East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine is able to support more rural underserved North Carolinians with dental care needs thanks to a first-time gift from The Leon Levine Foundation.

Through the $60,000 gift, supporting the patient care funds program, more patients can receive care at the SoDM’s community service learning centers (CLSCs) and clinics throughout North Carolina. Patients who qualify are able to get low-cost dental procedures and preventive care through the program.

“We are honored to receive support from The Leon Levine Foundation as we work to fulfill our mission of serving the people of North Carolina,” said Dr. Greg Chadwick, dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine. “Generous grants in support of patient care funds allow us to serve even more patients in rural and underserved communities through our CSLCs. We are also better able to provide our students with high-quality educational and clinical experiences and create innovative solutions to the oral health challenges in our region and state.”

The Leon Levine Foundation has invested in the patient care funds program supporting the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine’s clinics across the state.

The Leon Levine Foundation has invested in the patient care funds program supporting the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine’s clinics across the state. (ECU file photo)

For more than a decade, the CSLCs have allowed the dental school to achieve its mission to develop leaders with a passion to care for the underserved and improve the health of North Carolina and the nation. The SoDM has earned national awards for its innovative model of education and patient care.

“We believe that equitable access to quality healthcare – including dental care – enriches the wellbeing of individuals and their families. In light of this, The Leon Levine Foundation is honored to support the patient care funds program through ECU’s School of Dental Medicine,” said Dr. Michael Richardson, senior program officer of healthcare. “These resources directly help underserved and uninsured patients, resulting in healthier communities.”

Richardson said Levine cared deeply about establishing pathways from poverty to self-sufficiency. Providing access to affordable treatment through the CSLCs allows patients to face one less barrier to economic mobility.

“While North Carolina has faced a shortage of dentists in recent years, especially in rural communities, we are confident that ECU’s School of Dental Medicine will positively impact dental care trends in the region in the years to come,” Richardson added.

Fourth-year dental students spend three nine-week sessions serving in CSLCs across the state, living and working in communities whose residents face a plethora of disparities, from financial hardships to geographical access.

The Leon Levine Foundation supports programs and organizations that improve the human condition through investments in education, healthcare, human services and Jewish values. Based in Charlotte, the foundation invests in nonprofits across North Carolina and South Carolina with strong leadership, a track record of success, and a plan for financial sustainability. Through its investments, the foundation intends to create pathways to self-sufficiency, champion strategies for permanent change, and facilitate opportunities for growth.

ECU is in the public phase of the Pursue Gold campaign to raise half a billion dollars. This ambitious effort will create new paths to success for Pirates on campus, across the country and around the world. Donor gifts during the campaign will keep us constantly leading and ready to advance what’s possible. Learn more at pursuegold.ecu.edu.