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The University of SK Filling the Gap Dental Clinic

Dr. Alyssa Hayes, Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, spoke with Dr. Suham Alexander about their Filling the Gap Dental Clinic, set up to help manage the oral health needs of newly arrived Syrian refugees.


Dr. Alyssa Hayes speaks to Dr. Suham Alexander about some of the lessons learned and best practices while setting up the “Filling the Gap” clinic which serves Syrian refugees at the University of Saskatchewan. The driving force for the clinic was the need for care and the barriers which prevent access to care for this group. The clinic was staffed by volunteer students, dentists from the community, hygienists and assistants.

Some of the lessons learned included:

  • Organizing logistics with respect to transportation, language, overall processes involved (eg. booking appointments, confirmations, referrals etc.)
  • Seeing patients as families to capitalize on transportation
  • Customizing treatment plans on a case by case basis for those patients whose care was beyond the federal health care coverage plan
  • Utilizing resources that exist for translators (Arabic speaking students, employees, dental team members)

Watch the video interview


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