Philly Phaces: A Closer Look at Craniofacial Care in Dentistry

Rachel S. Hoagburg

Hoagburg, Rachel S.
Faculty / Advisor: Gluch, Joan I.
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Division of Community Oral Health


Philly Phaces is an organization at Penn Dental Medicine focused on helping patients with facial differences through education and advocacy.

Project Overview

Philly Phaces is a Philadelphia based organization committed to empowering children, adults, and families facing appearance differences through structured peer support, advocacy, and resources. It caters primarily towards families who are being cared for in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Beyond what Philly Phaces stands for, they are truly a community that focuses on building lifelong friendships. Penn Dental students started a Philly Phaces club within the dental school four years ago. The goal of the Penn Dental chapter is to educate dental students on caring for patients with facial differences and to advocate for these patients and their need to be represented in medical and dental care.


In the last four years, we have been able to expand our influence to over 100 students currently involved in volunteering and learning more about how to help. We have begun to include residents and faculty at the school as well. In time, we hope the Penn Pals program will become more established and students may have the opportunity to be paired with the same family for several years. We continue to form more connections within the school and the community as well as evolve and learn as we move forward.