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Thank you for supporting the HOPE Dental Program at Banner - University Medical Center Phoenix


While dental health may not immediately be associated with a stay in the hospital, inadequate oral hygiene can lead to devastating disease and a significant loss of quality of life, particularly in the elderly, who represent the largest proportion of hospitalized patients. Bacteria from the oral cavity can travel to the lungs and cause older patients to contract hospital-acquired pneumonia, a serious and potentially fatal infection.

To address this challenge, Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix created the Hospital Oral Care and Proactive Education: HOPE Dental Program, with generous funding from Delta Dental Foundation of Arizona. The partnership established Susan Dimpfel as oral health nurse navigator and dental hygienist Nicole Petit as consistent educators and resources for nurses and patients. They support patients across hospital units and departments and collaborate with nursing staff and therapists to identify barriers to care and facilitate access to dental services and oral health care for the highest-risk patients. The partnership also includes development and delivery of patient oral health care training for nurses and patient care assistants.

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