Faculty and students at Penn's School of Dental Medicine are offering free emergency care to furloughed federal workers who have not received pay due to the government shutdown.
Furloughed government employees are now able to visit the Dental School to be treated for emergency and urgent needs, including infection, broken fillings, and other pain or discomfort caused by dental problems. To receive care, they must bring identification as proof of employment as well as a zero-dollar pay stub.
“With budgets tight for many furloughed workers, they may be reluctant to seek dental care even when in discomfort,” Dental School Dean Mark Wolff said in a statement. “We want them to know Penn Dental Medicine is here to serve them.”
Workers can make an appointment to visit the Dental School during regular hours, which are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The school is also open for walk-in care until 3 p.m. each day.
Records of care received at Penn Dental will be sent to federal employees' regular dentists, and they will be expected to return to these dentists once the shutdown ends. Workers who do not have dental insurance are also welcome to visit the Dental School for emergency services, Philly.com reported.
Temple University's Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry is offering a similar emergency treatment plan.
“We feel a great obligation to serve furloughed federal employees suffering from emergent and urgent dental-care needs amid the federal government’s shutdown,” Temple dental school dean Amid Ismail said in a statement.
Penn Athletics also announced that furloughed workers and their families can receive up to four free tickets for this Sunday's Penn women's basketball game. After the game, children and parents will be invited to the court to score a basket as part of Parent-Child Layup Day.
About 45,000 federal workers live in the Philadelphia region. Since the partial government shutdown began on Dec. 22, more than 3,100 government employees throughout Pennsylvania have applied for unemployment benefits.