Patient Assistance Program Funds Six

The dental student-led Patient Assistance Program (see the September 2012 Dental Bites) made its first awards in 2012, funding nearly $3,000 in oral care for six patients.

“The program is going really well,” said fourth-year dental student Geoff Peterson, who re-ignited the program at OHSU with classmate Erica Coe. “In the fall, we held a lottery within each bridge group, selecting two students from each group who could then submit an application to the program on behalf of their patient.

“After reviewing the 12 cases we received, we selected six patients to fund for phase three treatment, which is the elimination of all active disease in the oral cavity that must be done before phase four, or the restorative part of their treatment,” he said. “For most patients, this is the most difficult step to overcome.

“Our hope is that we can eventually provide all patients who have a financial need with the resources for phase three treatment.”

All of the funds provided through the Patient Assistance Program were matched dollar-for-dollar by the patient, noted Geoff.

“It has been very rewarding to see patients get the help they need,” he said.

Donations for the Patient Assistance Program can be forwarded to Diane Sullivan ( in the department of community dentistry.