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Dr. Ruselle DeBonis, DNP, MA, ARNP, FNP-C

Dr. Ruselle DeBonis, DNP, MA, ARNP, FNP-C
Dr. Ruselle DeBonis, DNP, MA, ARNP, FNP-C, is a family nurse practitioner and Professor Emeritus at Allen College. She established the only nurse-run free clinic in Iowa in 2008, a partnership between the college and the local Salvation Army, and has coordinated it for 15 years. Dr. DeBonis implemented the dental collaboration at the college and the assessment requirements for nurse practitioner (NP) students. She continues to supervise NP students completing their service-learning requirements at the clinic. Dr. DeBonis has published several articles on service-learning and the care of patients with low income. She implemented a poverty initiative in regional health care clinics and continues to speak and advocate for this population. Dr. DeBonis was named one of 100 Great Nurses in Iowa in 2010 and received the State Award for Excellence in 2014 from the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Oral Health Care of Patients with Low Income: Lessons Learned at a Free Medical Clinic

The status of oral health for populations with low income is significantly poorer than for persons with higher incomes.1 Multi-factorial reasons exist for this disparity from both patient and dental professional standpoints. Patients with low income tend to have a low understanding of oral health and place a lower value on the service unless there is an acute problem.2 Patients...