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Dental clinic serves SLSD

Le 7 December 2017, 07:51 dans Humeurs 0

More than 6,000 students. Nearly 2,000 appointments. Just over 100 clinic days. $540,345 in dental work. Those are the three-year stats for the South Lane Children’s Dental Clinic


“There is no other school district in the area that hosts a volunteer dental clinic,” program coordinator, Jackie Lester said. That, is part of the problem.


The South Lane Children’s Dental Clinic will not turn away a child in pain. It’s primary patient group, however, is made up of low-income students who qualify for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) with 90 percent of the students seen at the clinic, already assigned to a provider. Those providers, though, have months-long waiting lists and can often be located in Eugene. According to Lester, that’s a driving force behind many of the appointments at the clinic: driving.


“There are a few reasons why kids aren’t getting to their providers,” Lester said. “They can’t get there, their parents can’t take off work, their OHP isn’t current, they don’t know who their OHP provider is or there’s at least a four-month wait.”


South Lane Children’s Dental helps fill in the gaps in treatment. Since it started in 2012, it has served 7,569 children; 6,736 screenings and 833 treatments. Currently, the program is screening all students between 6th and 12th grade which includes applying fluoride and sealants with parental permission. With a shift in priority, the number of students served, may increase.


According to Lester, the clinic is planning to do more screening work to combat the need to perform more direct dental work. Lester told the South Lane School Board earlier this year that the original goal of the clinic was to treat as many students as possible. However, this year the clinic will shift to screening and applying sealants and fluoride as preventative measures-the hope being that the need for dental procedures will decrease.


Lester says there’s a strong correlation between age and the number of sealant applications performed. Younger children, who would benefit in high school from having the procedure, receive it in fewer numbers than high schoolers.


“The permission slip gets lost, it never gets to mom and dad,” Lester said. “Few elementary students get the fluoride or sealant.”


More children, however, are getting seen by a dentist. Lester attributes part of the clinic’s success to the transportation service that picks children up from school, brings them to the clinic and then returns them to school, eliminating a costly day off work for parents and a trip up Interstate-5 to Eugene. That doesn’t mean, however, that the clinic doesn’t encourage families to use their OHP providers.


“We do outreach to overcome barriers to getting to the provider,” she said, noting that the staff with do home visits to walk a family through the OHP process.


Currently, the clinic is funded through a three-year grant from the Oregon Community Foundation. That grant, is in its final year. According to Lester, future funding options are being explored, but the clinic isn’t going anywhere.


While South Lane Children’s Dental Clinic serves children who are already assigned a provider, it is able to recoup some of the funds.



“Let’s look at who’s responsible for providing the treatment,” Lester said. “If that’s OHP, what is missing and what can we support to access services that are being paid for.”

Harvest gives $600,000 to Dental Health Foundation

Le 30 November 2017, 03:19 dans Humeurs 0

MARTINSVILLE-The Piedmont Virginia Dental Health Foundation, the driving force behind the Community Dental Clinic, received a three-year grant from The Harvest Foundation in the amount of $603,195 for indigent dental care.


The Community Dental Clinic served nearly 5,000 individuals in 2016, and since the clinic opened in 2006, there have been more than 41,400 patient visits providing more than $9.3 million in dental services to unemployed and uninsured children and adults in Martinsville-Henry County. Emergency dental visits to SOVAH Health Martinsville, formerly Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County, have decreased by 31 percent over the past six years, according to information provided by PVDHF.


“The Community Dental Clinic provides a valuable service to Martinsville-Henry County,” said DeWitt House, senior program officer at The Harvest Foundation. “The clinic is well-organized, efficient, and provides a variety of dental care for the patients served. The staff and volunteers at the clinic do an amazing job and are committed to the continued success of the clinic. We are fortunate to have an organization of this caliber in our community.”


Dr. Mark Crabtree, president of the PVDHF Board of Directors, said the dental clinic is the only solution available for those in need who cannot afford care in a private free for service dental practice.



“We are grateful for Harvest’s substantial support of the Community Dental Clinic,” Crabtree said. “They have been a significant part of our efforts from the very beginning, and we owe our success to their generous funding. This significant three-year commitment makes it possible to continue providing dental care to those who have no other place to access quality dental care. This truly improves the health of thousands in our community.”



The Piedmont Virginia Dental Health Foundation works in partnership with the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry, providing externships to dental students who provide care in the community. The organization also partners with Patrick Henry Community College to develop the community dental health coordinator and dental assistant programs, as well as local dentists who volunteer their time at the clinic. Other partners include the City of Martinsville in addition to The Harvest Foundation.

You better watch your mouth: Dental care in the Black community

Le 22 November 2017, 09:12 dans Humeurs 0

From the time I was a little girl, to just a day or so ago, someone has always told me to watch my mouth. Why? My mouth runs and sometimes it runs unplugged. I’ve been known to flim flam folks with flattery or eviscerate them with evil, sometimes moving from one to the other with just a shrug of my shoulders. But my “mouth-watching” is not the kind of mouth-watching I’m writing about in this column. I’m writing about the healthy mouth-watching that is critical to our health.


Nearly a hundred folks gathered at the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) headquarters at 633 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, D.C., to hear two dynamic women talk about dental health. Dr. Diane Earle, the managing dental director at Kool Smiles, in Lancaster, Texas, talked about dental health and its importance. Your mouth, she said, is the gateway to your body, so it is important for you to take care of it by getting regular checkups, taking care of your mouth and, especially, ensuring that children have early dental care as soon as they have even a single tooth. She was joined by healthy living expert Debra Peek Haynes, who is passionate about the way we eat and how what we eat can transform our lives.


These two women held an audience for an hour, focusing on the many ways we can improve our lives so that we can better resist these oppressive political times. There was talk of the ways we can eat better, exercise better, and live better, with both Dr. Earle and Mrs. Haynes presenting as great examples of healthy living. Dr. Earle, for example, said she had never had a cavity in her life. Deb Haynes (whose husband, the Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes, III, has expertly pastored Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas) shared the ways she used healthy eating to turn her health around after a diagnosis of infertility. I was thrilled to bring the women together and to moderate a discussion that had significant meaning for our community.


NCNW, under the transformative leadership of Attorney Janice Mathis (who led Rainbow PUSH’s Atlanta office until she came to Washington), is the only space owned by Black people on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is close enough to the “People’s House” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that one might walk there, which perhaps means that it is close to the devil. That proximity offers an opportunity for resistance, and while much of our resistance must be political, some of it hinges on our personal commitment to a physical excellence that prepares us to have resilience for the struggle.


Even as we met, the devil was busy. The House of Representative passed the new “tax overhaul” package that they say will create jobs, but we know will create wealth for billionaires; to benefit the top one percent, the bottom 80 percent will be hit hard, but Congress doesn’t seem to care. The Senate has a version of the legislation, and the two houses will have to come up with compromise legislation, but both the House and the Senate agree that corporations should pay less tax.


At NCNW, we talked about Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and her Action for Dental Health Act (HR 2422). The bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored with Republican Indiana dentist and Congressman Mike Simpson, would make dental care more accessible, but with issues like these having low priority in this ideologically divided Congress, it is not likely to even make it to the floor for a vote. Instead, the new tax law would weaken, not strengthen, healthcare access.


Dental care and nutrition issues don’t get as much visibility as Russia, or sexual harassment, or jiving Jeff Sessions. But they are also important issues. So when we “watch our mouth” by watching what we eat and how we manage our dental care, we are strengthening ourselves for the inevitable struggle against the inequality that is part of the status quo.



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