Ore. clinics get $200K for kids' oral health

More than $200,000 in grants from the Oregon Community Foundation will help youngsters maintain their oral health in Douglas County, according to an article in the News-Review. Umpqua Community Health Center (UCHC) was awarded $88,055 and the Mercy Foundation received $113,872.

UCHC will take treatment directly to the students in the form of a utility trailer containing dental equipment driven to various county schools and run by AmeriCorps volunteers and Umpqua Community College hygiene students. Some 15,000 children ages 6 to 11 will receive fluoride rinses and varnishes, as well as screenings and sealants. Funds have been earmarked to provide dental services for more than 1,000 students living in low-income housing as well.

Sustaining the program is a key goal, and parent volunteers trained on site will be encouraged to pass the training on to other parent volunteers.

The Mercy Foundation will expand its Healthy Kids Outreach Program serving eight school districts by providing basic dental maintenance supplies and also screenings, fluoride varnishes, and sealants performed by dentists and dental professionals.

With the help of Medical Teams International mobile dental vans, the organization will screen 3,440 children from ages 3 to 12 and refer those requiring acute treatment to a liaison. Volunteer participants include Umpqua Community College dental hygienist students, United Community Action Network Head Start, and area dentists and dental hygienists.

If the programs are run successfully, both UCHC and Mercy Foundation can become eligible for future funding from the Oregon Community Foundation.

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