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Getting to the Root of the Problem

CAREs Foundation grant helps bring dental care to those in need.

Dental pain can be brutal but not everyone can afford to go to a dentist. “It’s hard for someone who is unemployed to get dental care,” said Sue Canning, formerly COO of Emergency Medicine but now part of Hospital Operations. “Working in the ED, I saw many people come in with a tooth abscess. We could help with the pain but could not repair the damage.”

Sue Canning (r.) with Bernetta Dacus, dental assistant at Pierre Toussaint Dental Office, which will receive a Penn Medicine CAREs Foundation Grant to help up to 20 people receive emergency dental care.

A grant from the Penn Medicine CAREs Foundation will allow her to help many get to the ‘root’ of the problem.   Canning has been  associated with the Ministry of Caring -– a community-based nonprofit organization that provides a wide range of services to the homeless and unemployed --for over 25 years. “It’s an extraordinary charity,”  she said. One of the  services the organization provides is emergency dental care at the Pierre Toussaint Dental Office in Wilmington, Delaware. 

Thanks to the Foundation grant,  up to 20 people will receive the emergency dental care they need at the Toussaint Dental Office, preventing them from getting an infection and thus eliminating the need to come to the Emergency Room.

“I think it’s wonderful that Penn is reaching out and offering grants to deserving charities in our area,” she said. “To serve people in my community is a wonderful thing.”

To learn more about the Ministry of Caring, go to

Penn-medicine-caresThere’s still time to apply for the next round of grants from the Penn Medicine CAREs Foundation Grant Program to help fund your outreach projects. The deadline for applications is September 1. For more information or to apply, go to

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