Eric G. Jahn


Eric G. Jahn is the senior associate dean for community health at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Nick Romanenko

It’s no secret that dental care promotes good health, but the cost of that care keeps far too many out of the dentist’s chair until they have a bad toothache. The Eric B. Chandler Health Center’s dental program, funded by longtime partner Johnson & Johnson, takes a big bite out of the bill by offering affordable treatment to underserved residents in greater  New Brunswick.

Chandler, part of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and one of the few federally qualified health centers in the nation that has a medical school as a partner, received $533,000 this fiscal year from New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson to help finance its dental program.

“This is the most they have ever given for this program,” says Eric G. Jahn, senior associate dean for community health, adding that in addition to funding the dental program for years, Johnson & Johnson has also consistently provided resources for other medical school initiatives. “The generous ongoing funding helps us meet our mission of getting families into programs early so they have healthy teeth growing up.”

Sandra Adams, executive director of the 29-year-old center, points out that routine dental care brings lasting psychological as well as physical benefits. “People with bad or missing teeth face a social stigma,” she says. “They don’t even want to open their mouths.”

The center serves roughly 14,500 patients, and 4,900 of them use the dental services annually. Jahn says that the funding from Johnson & Johnson allows people to obtain care regardless of their ability to pay, calling it “a win-win  for the center and for the community.”