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Harvard, Northeastern project bring dental, primary care together

November 02, 2015 Boston — Northeastern University School of Nursing announced Oct. 19 it will partner with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in a new program aimed at the primary care and oral health care needs of Boston-area patients and their families.

The $1.2 million, three-year funded project from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration supports the creation of an interprofessional collaborative practice model in which primary care services are integrated into a primary academic dental practice.

The program allows Northeastern University nurse practitioner students and Harvard dental students to work side by side to provide comprehensive health care services for patients in the Harvard Dental Center’s Teaching Practices clinic.

“We hope this initiative will serve as a national model for how the integration of advance practice nursing and dentistry can help improve access to care for vulnerable and underserved patients and populations,” said Maria C. Dolce, Ph.D., associate professor at the Northeastern nursing school and principal investigator for the project.

Goals of the project include increasing access to high quality, patient- and population-centered primary care for culturally diverse, vulnerable and medically underserved communities and expanding the number of nurses with interprofessional collaborative practice competencies.

The project launches January 2016 when students from both schools will begin working together in the Harvard clinic.