About SHARING Clinics
SHARING (Student Health Alliance Reaching Indigent Needy Groups) Clinics are held to address the oral health needs of the underserved in Nebraska. Patients receive free dental care from student providers. Dental SHARING Clinics started in 2008 as a result of urging from local dentists who felt that the college should do something to address the oral health needs of the low income population in the Lincoln area.
The Dental SHARING Clinic program provides students with the opportunity to gain experiences, especially multicultural, they might not ordinarily have at the college and gives faculty and staff an opportunity to model professional behaviors that serve the community.
Patients are primarily referred from Clinic With A Heart, an organization that provides health care to underinsured and underserved community members. Many SHARING Clinic cases are complex and represent dental emergencies with pain, swelling and fever. Referred patients come to the College of Dentistry and go through a vitals and history check and a confirming triage before being seen. The primary procedures that can be performed include cleaning, extraction, restoration and referrals for root canal therapy.
Impact of SHARING Clinics
- The College of Dentistry has used this program to enhance Interprofessional Education opportunities with students from the Lincoln Division of the College of Nursing and health professions students from Omaha.
- In recent years the SHARING Clinic has gained a positive reputation in the surrounding area. This has resulted in an annual extraction clinic held in conjunction with the Third City Clinic in Grand Island. About 15-20 dental students and faculty see about 70 patients and extract about 200 teeth.
- Additionally, the college works with a district health department in northeastern Nebraska to identify a minority population with major dental needs. This has resulted in a special triage and referral day conducted by the college, providing services to about 40 patients.
SHARING Clinics Funding
The SHARING Clinic is made possible by generous financial support from Ameritas Insurance Company, Delta Dental of Nebraska, dental alumni and friends.