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The creation of a specializedmedical-dental clinic for adults with developmental disabilities in Montreal, Canada

Melody Blessing Ng (Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
Malvina Klag (Department of Management, Hautes Études Commerciales Montréal, Montreal, Canada)
Carrie Mazoff (Rossy Cancer Network, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Samantha Sacks (Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Chantal Czerednikow (Chantal Czerednikow is based at the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Kathryn Borbridge (Health Centre, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Terry Broda (Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Jonathan Lai (Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, and Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorder Alliance, Toronto, Canada)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Article publication date: 16 September 2021

Issue publication date: 13 October 2022




There is inadequate health care for patients with developmental disabilities (DD), due to a number of systemic issues. This case study describes the establishment of a medical-dental clinic in Montréal, Québec for adults with DD. The purpose of this paper is to describe the model of interdisciplinary care based on best practices, as an example to encourage a growing community of trained health professionals to serve this population.


Interviews with all the clinic staff and leadership were conducted on-site at the clinic, followed by document review and discussions with an embedded researcher in the organization.


The clinic was established through a series of events that led to public and government interest to act, the timely emergence of major donors, and bringing together several dedicated individuals and organizations. The core team engaged in consultation with clinics, followed by extensive billing analyses and iterative process mapping as a learning organization. Prior to patient visits, the clinic conducted detailed intake processes to adequately plan for each patient interaction. Desensitization visits were undertaken to improve patient tolerance for examination and treatment. The continual collection of data fed into an evaluation framework to facilitate continuous improvement and articulate a model for replication.


To the best of the authors knowledge, there is not a clinic of this nature serving this population in Canada. This work can serve to inform the efforts of other care providers looking to create a medical – dental home for this population.



The authors would like to acknowledge the leadership of Diane and Salvatore Guerrera, and Dr Abraham Fuks. Without their vision and tenacity over a period of more than a decade, these much-needed services that we are proud to describe herein would never have seen the light of day.


Ng, M.B., Klag, M., Mazoff, C., Sacks, S., Czerednikow, C., Borbridge, K., Broda, T. and Lai, J. (2022), "The creation of a specializedmedical-dental clinic for adults with developmental disabilities in Montreal, Canada", Advances in Autism, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 294-305.



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