Marquette University School of Dentistry, the Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center, and Aurora Healthcare have teamed up to present a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary program on geriatric oral health. An interactive website, providing “on-demand” education, is a key component of this multifaceted program entitled Geriatric Oral Health: The Missing Link to Comprehensive Care.
“This comprehensive resource is designed to be a much-needed teaching aid for dental undergraduate, dental graduate, and allied geriatrics curricula,” said Dr. Anthony M. Iacopino, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Marquette University School of Dentistry and Director of the Wisconsin Geriatric Education Center. “As far as we know, there is nothing else like it out there.”
The purpose of the program is to highlight the importance and connection of oral health to the overall health and well-being of older Americans, as well as to draw attention to the fact that senior citizens nationwide are facing significant obstacles regarding access to quality oral healthcare. Increasing evidence links poor oral health to many chronic systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory disease, and arthritis. Elderly patients who receive oral care as part of their comprehensive healthcare are healthier and require fewer health care dollars as they continue to age.
With too many older Americans suffering in silence as their oral health needs are underestimated, ignored, or not detected until far too late, the website is designed to make certain that dental educators, students, and residents are adequately trained to meet the needs of the burgeoning older adult population.
The website features 20 international and national experts from a variety of health-related disciplines; state-of-the-art industry summaries about geriatric oral health issues such as geriatric oral medicine, access to care, and pharmacology; 24 case studies of older adults; live, scheduled chats with the experts; peer-to-peer discussion boards; archived video footage from live conference presentations; 10 faculty development modules on clinical education, CV development, and educational portfolios; and many more resources, web links, references, etc.
“This is a wonderful program with something for everyone interested in geriatric education,” said Dr. Diane Ede-Nichols, Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine and Councilor of the ADEA Section on Gerontology and Geriatrics Education. “Dr. Iacopino and the staff at Marquette are to be congratulated for developing it.”
For a nominal fee of $50, visitors are provided unlimited access to the private website, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Content is organized within a user-friendly conference center format, which includes such trendy features as a Cybercafé and Virtual Exhibit Hall. For those who may shy away from new technology and prefer traditional conferences, website developers have provided an Information Desk where visitors can go first for a warm welcome, then go straight to the Conference Materials breakout rooms where most of the information can be found. If visitors ever run into trouble, a Help Desk is available for speedy assistance.
To register or learn more about the website, visit www.WGEC.org or call 414-288-3712. Group rates are available for offices, study groups, residency programs, or faculty who would like to use the site as a teaching resource in dental curricula.