On May 18, after being closed for more than 60 days, the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine reopened dental clinics for emergency and urgent care.
“It feels great to be back in our space again,” said Assistant Dean for Clinical Affairs, Dr. Manish Valiathan. “Patients are glad to be seen again, and have been understanding,” he said. “Our patients and largely appreciative of the measures adopted to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus.”
The reopening came on the heels of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s April 30 state order, which expanded activities permitted to take place in Ohio, including “non-essential surgeries and procedures” by “medical providers, including dentists.”
According to Dean Kenneth B. Chance, the school and the university worked to ensure that all necessary steps were taken to preserve both patient and clinician safety, prior to the opening date.
“It was really a great team effort,” Chance said. “We quickly acquired the needed protective equipment and developed very detailed screening procedures,” he said. “Additionally, we worked to ensure that our space arrangements and protocols follow social distancing requirements.”
While school and university leadership worked behind the scenes to put those procedures into place, the school’s support staff worked tirelessly to maintain trust with the clinics’ patients.
“I want to commend our support staff for their work to support the reopening,” said Chance. “During the course of our closure our scheduling staff worked tirelessly to reschedule almost 8,000 patient appointments.”
While the current operations include only faculty and staff, plans are in progress to bring students into the fold as soon as it is safe to do so.
The School of Dental Medicine will continue to share additional details as information becomes available. Be sure to visit the special COVID-19 web page for the latest news and messages from the dean.