Methodist Healthcare Ministries Awards $22,662 in emergency grant funding to UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry

San Antonio, TX (June 25, 2020) – Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.a private, faith-based, not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for low-income families and the uninsured—has approved an emergency grant for $22,662 to the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. The School of Dentistry provides dental care to the homeless population at Haven for Hope and COVID-19 has impacted its ability to continue those services.

“Methodist Healthcare Ministries remains committed to supporting partners across South Texas that are on the front lines, providing care to vulnerable populations in need,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries. “Through this additional support, we are ensuring that our trusted partner, UT Health San Antonio School Of Dentistry can access the critical resources and personal protective equipment they need to care for dental patients at Haven for Hope. In these tough times, we are proud to do all we can to bring more smiles to the world.”

As healthcare organizations continue to provide needed health and dental care to patients in this challenging environment, the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to ensuring the health and safety of both patients and providers. As dental care is delivered in close proximity to patients, COVID-19 clinical guidelines for dentistry include several new protocols to prevent exposure and limit the spread of the virus during dental procedures. This funding will augment the dental engineering and work practice controls needed to prevent cross-contamination from COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the services provided to the homeless residents of Haven for Hope by limiting these assistances to only emergency care,” said Juanita Lozano-Pineda, DDS, MPH, associate dean for external affairs with the UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. “Thanks to funds provided by Methodist Healthcare Ministries, the infection-control personal protective items and additional equipment that controls aerosol generation during procedures will all help protect our patients, dental students, residents and faculty from the highly contagious virus. This will allow students and residents to better understand some of the engineering controls needed to practice dentistry safely, as we expand to resume comprehensive care services to a vulnerable population that is in great need of oral health care.”

This award is in addition to the $753,228 grant funding Methodist Healthcare Ministries already provided to the School of Dentistry in 2020. The School of Dentistry has been a funded partner of Methodist Healthcare Ministries since 2002 and has received $8,468,521 to fund a number of its programs. Of that funding, nearly $2.5 million has been awarded specifically for work the School of Dentistry performs at Haven for Hope, including dental equipment, PPE and urgent care.

Methodist Healthcare Ministries has awarded over $1.5 million in COVID-19 emergency grant funding to nonprofits and faith-based organizations since the pandemic began. Methodist Healthcare Ministries remains committed to providing safe, affordable health care to San Antonio’s low-income population through virtual medical and behavioral health care—including food and other emergency assistance during this pandemic. Additionally, staff across the organization’s 74-county service area—including Wesley Nurses and community based counseling staff—continue to provide virtual care and resource assistance to the most vulnerable.