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Cynthia Kelleher (Kernan)
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Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital's Dental Clinic Hosts U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

Baltimore, MD (July 6, 2009) - Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital hosted a visit from U.S. Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, whose 7th District includes the area where Kernan Hospital is located.

Congressman Cummings was invited to the hospital to learn more about the needs of Kernan Hospital's dental program and how the hospital is using the Maryland Community Health Resource Commission (MCHRC) Grant to serve its dental patients, many of whom live within the Congressman's district.

Dr. Wunsch and Elijah Cummings
Patrice Wunsch, DDS, Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital Chief Dental Officer (left) tours Congressman Elijah Cummings through the dental clinic at Kernan. Dr. Wunsch and Elijah Cummings
Patrice Wunsch, DDS, Chief Dental Office at Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital and Congressman Elijah Cummings tour the dental operating room at Kernan Hospital.

Patrice B. Wunsch, DDS, MS, Kernan's Chief Dental Officer, presented how the grant funds are being used by the dental clinic. Afterwards, Congressman Cummings toured the dental clinic and the dental operating room to see its needs firsthand.

Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital was awarded the MCHRC grant for $287,410 in April. The grant will be used to replace over-utilized dental chairs and equipment, hire additional staff to meet the needs of dental patients within the community, and expand the staff size to fully utilize the capacity of the dental clinic. The hospital has also contributed to the needs of the dental clinic with funds that will be used to add staff and equipment in order to meet the mission of the hospital.

Kernan Hospital's dental clinic receives referrals from community dentists and community health departments throughout the state of Maryland. The clinic provides care for an average of 900 patients each month, with between 45 – 55 of those patients being seen in the clinic's operating room. Many patients who need care are unable to cooperate in the dental clinic either because of their young age and extensive treatment, or because of a disability. These patients receive full mouth dental rehabilitation under general anesthesia in the operating room.

Kernan Hospital's dental clinic works with the University of Maryland School of Dentistry's pediatric dentistry program by having pediatric dental residents rotate through the clinic and OR. Residents receive training in special needs patient care - a more challenging schedule of patient care and OR experience. The hospital also supports community dentists who are credentialed to treat their private practice patients in the dental operating room at the hospital.

Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System, a nine-hospital system that includes Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Maryland General Hospital, Shore Health System, Chester River Health System, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, University Specialty Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center.