THE WORDS “RURAL” and “New Jersey” aren’t often linked, but a new mobile clinic, the Zufall Health Delta Dental Mobile, made its debut in the Garden State town of Phillipsburg on National Rural Health Day last November.
A top-notch clinic on wheels has long been a dream of those at Zufall Health, a network of community health centers that cater to the underserved in northern and central New Jersey. Dr. Sam Wakim, the nonproﬁt organization’s chief dental officer, is especially pleased.
“We’re now able to provide comprehensive follow-ups,” says Dr. Wakim, 41. “Before, we used a medical van with portable dental equipment, which had limitations. Now we can provide a wide range of treatment — ﬁllings, extractions, partials, screenings, plaque removal, education for the patients.”
The Zufall Health Delta Dental Mobile will ultimately serve more than 1,800 needy adults and children in New Jersey. For National Rural Health Day, the Zufall team offered treatment to 120 residents — screenings for adults, cleanings for children and more. “We enjoyed every minute of it,” says Michelle Blanchﬁeld, Zufall’s outreach coordinator.
For Dr. Wakim, who has been practicing in community health centers for 15 years, the new vehicle is a godsend. “We have a lot of pockets of need in our area, and a mobile dental van is ideal,” he says. “A lot of parents with children who couldn’t ﬁnd access were thrilled to have a place to follow up.”
The vehicle maintains a busy schedule of events throughout the year, and it will of course be on the road for National Rural Health Day 2017. “It was eye-opening for patients to see us, and I anticipate that a lot of them will continue,” Dr. Wakim says. “It was a great introduction to the community.”
ZUFALL FOR ALL: Dr. Sam Wakim (below) with a patient; (left) Zufall president and CEO Eva Turbiner, founder Robert Zufall and government-relations director Shade Cronan.
Zufall Health celebrates a new mobile clinic that’s helping bring dental care to underserved patients throughout New Jersey.
COMRADES IN ARMS: (From left) Geovani Estacio-Carrillo, Allison Subaldo, Alixandra Bleetstein and Eliana Callejas