At six-years-old, Dylan* needed seven fillings and two extractions.
Her parents had taken her to more than one dental clinic but her fear and anxiety prevented her from being treated. The providers they took her to did not usually work with children.
Dylan’s parents grew worried and discouraged. Then they heard that Dylan’s school was opening the Delta Dental Clinic at Oyler Elementary School in Cincinnati and decided to give it a try. After all, her parents thought, a dental clinic at a school may be better able to understand and handle the anxiety children face.
In one session, Dylan went from being afraid to having her teeth brushed to having all her fillings and extractions completed.
Tiffaney Hamm, program manager at Oyler’s dental clinic, credits the genuine and sincere dental staff. She said her “awesome and compassionate dental staff,” knows how to work with children.
Many of the children visiting Oyler’s clinic have never been to the dentist. The clinic, the first of its kind in the State of Ohio, was opened to fill a huge demand for dental care at Oyler.
Dental care is the number one unmet children’s health need in Ohio. It is estimated that 4,300 Cincinnati Public School (CPS) children attend school each day with immediate dental treatment needs.
The Oyler clinic is already operating at capacity, serving the school and 12 others in the surrounding area. Fifteen children a day are served five days a week at the clinic.
Growing Well is the facilitator of the Children’s Oral Health Network that is the coalition of partners that created and continue to partner at the Delta Dental Center.
“The key thing with school clinics is they reduce the no show rate,” said Paul Rudolph, Executive Director of Growing Well.
“Although we’re taking kids out of class, because the clinic is at school, they are back in class faster. And we’re not taking parents out of work. If a parent has to take a kid to the dentist, they may also take siblings, creating absenteeism.” Paul said clinics hours may increase to include evening and summer hours.
“We’re not just giving out toothbrushes and toothpaste, we are increasing the understanding of the importance of taking care of oral health,” he added.
CPS students at schools without clinics are often provided transportation to existing clinics, visits from a mobile clinic or portable dental chairs.
Tiffaney said she’s witnessed a big change in the four months the clinic has been at the school. Both the students and parents are warming up to the clinic.
“Once they realize their friends come back to class, visiting the clinic is not as scary as it looks,” she said. “Once the community sees we are here to help and not judge but to offer quality dental care, we’ll prove ourselves.”
*Name has been changed.
(February 24, 2015) February is National Children’s Dental Health Month – a month dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of oral health.
Prevention of Family Violence
A northwest Ohio mother of two walked to the front of a crowded room at a recent Voices for Ohio’s Children’s Kids Talk presentation and courageously shared her family’s story on how they improved their overall health through access to dental coverage. She described how obtaining access to oral health services had improved her and her husband’s overall health, employment prospects, and self-esteem. The mother also described how it had improved her children’s oral health because they were seeing the dentist on a regular basis. And, she shared how her family’s outlook on life had improved and how grateful they were to have access to such resources.
As this mother shared her family’s powerful story, the impact was clear on the faces of the policy makers in the room as they recognized the importance of children’s oral health as a priority issue for the Ohio General Assembly.
In Ohio, dental care is the number-one unmet health care need for children. In fact, 51% of Ohio third graders have experienced tooth decay and 340,000 Ohio children have never visited a dentist. A mouth left without treatment can affect a child’s health development, self-esteem, and learning.
Voices for Ohio’s Children is a non-partisan organization that helps ensure that the needs of Ohio’s 3 million children are prioritized at the local, state, and federal levels. One example of how they do this is through the Children’s Oral Health Action Team (COHAT), which is a coalition of 30 organizations – from education and advocacy to health care and dental – who have come together to address the needs of improved children’s oral health in Ohio.
COHAT works to ensure children have healthy teeth and gums by making sure quality oral health care is available to children regardless of family income. The organization does this by educating legislators and the community about pediatric oral health care through activities, such as hosting the Kids Talk series; promoting and supporting early prevention programs to reduce tooth decay; and encouraging regular dental check-ups as early as possible.
Additionally, COHAT works with pediatric and school nurses to advance their important role in screening for oral health needs, and provides education and referrals for treatment. Over the past year, COHAT has provided hundreds of school nurses with an Ohio School Nurse Toolkit, enabling them to organize an oral health program in their school. The toolkit makes a huge impact on how nurses are able to evaluate a child’s oral health, which they wouldn’t have known about without the work of COHAT.
“Often, professionals that work at schools are gatekeepers of children’s health, which is why it’s so vital we provide them with materials that educate them on dental care,” said Dustin McKee, policy and advocacy associate for Voices for Ohio’s Children. “Many of these professionals have received limited dental training. Our programs offer access to materials to provide basic understanding of the screening process and to eliminate anxiety when implementing oral health programs in their schools.”
With funding from the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio, COHAT has been able to employ a part-time associate, contract a lobbyist specialist, and create educational materials. As a result, it has raised awareness of the issue and state legislators are now working to improve access to oral health.
Voices for Ohio’s Children is currently hosting several free regional children’s forums for attendees to hear updates on important state issues, share insight on issues children are facing in their communities, and to learn about federal issues impacting children. For more information on how to attend an upcoming conference, visit www.raiseyourvoiceforkids.org.
THE HEALTHPATH FOUNDATION OF OHIO AWARDS DIRECT SERVICE GRANTS TO OHIO ORGANIZATIONS
Foundation Invests Nearly $350,000 in Projects for 23 Ohio Counties
CINCINNATI (September 18, 2018) – The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio (HealthPath) recently awarded $348,500 in direct service grants to 10 organizations dedicated to improving community health in 23 Ohio counties. Each grant aligns with one of HealthPath’s three results areas: Cavity-Free Kids, Healthy Ohioans or Safe Elders.
“In order to ensure a positive change in the health and healthy behavior of Ohio residents, we must first understand that the strengths and needs of every community are unique,” said Eric DeWald, president of HealthPath. “No one is more aware of the needs of a community better than citizens within them. We are proud to partner with exemplary nonprofit organizations to help all Ohioans reach their fullest health potential.”
The 2018 direct service grantees include:
Serving Hamilton and Butler counties:
Health Care Access Now ($50,000 grant): Social, environmental and access to care barriers make it challenging for some women in Hamilton and Butler counties to seek medical assistance during pregnancy. This grant will allow HCAN to expand its capacity to provide the knowledge and skills needed by women during and after their pregnancy.
Serving Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties:
Mercy Health of Youngstown ($50,000 grant): The grant will fund a mobile medical clinic, which will provide high- quality, affordable health care to residents in rural Appalachian areas. The mobile clinic will primarily serve socio- economically segregated communities and minority populations.
Serving Allen, Auglaize and Hardin counties:
Partnership for Violence-Free Families ($20,000 grant): To provide better access to health care, PVFF will use this grant to train individuals in Mental Health First Aid. Once trained, these individuals will provide help and resources to those struggling with mental illness.
Serving Holmes County:
Healthcare 2000 Community Clinic, Inc. ($50,000 grant): Funding from this grant will provide specialty care, behavioral health and dental, medical and case management services to low-income, uninsured or underinsured residents of Holmes County.
Serving Clark County:
United Senior Services ($30,200 grant): Building on the existing CARE program, United Senior Services will use this grant to prevent the exploitation of older adults, heighten public awareness about elder exploitation and develop proactive solutions to protect their assets.
Serving Miami County:
Miami County Dental Clinic ($10,000 grant): The Travelling Smiles Portable Dentistry Program will provide preventive and restorative dental care and oral health education for children in Miami County who don’t have access to dental care otherwise.
Serving Clermont County:
HealthSource of Ohio ($60,000 grant): In partnership with the West Clermont School District, HealthSource will expand an existing school-based health center to offer comprehensive dental services to their student body who may not have access to dental and health care otherwise.
Serving Trumbull County:
Family & Community Services Inc. ($18,300 grant): This grant will fund the SCOPE Traveling Pantry, which will provide fresh food and groceries to older adults of Trumbull County, particularly those living in food desert areas.
Serving Allen, Auglaize, Butler, Clark, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hardin, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, Shelby, Van Wert and Warren counties:
Dayton Children’s Hospital Foundation ($40,000 grant): To improve the health and wellness of children in the community, this grant will support the Center for Community Health and Advocacy, which focuses on primary prevention with the goal of optimizing care for vulnerable populations of children, including those who experience disparities in health service delivery.
Serving all Ohio counties:
Ohio Association of Community Health Centers ($20,000 grant): This grant will help pilot a Brush, Book, Bed Program, which will teach caregivers the importance of a regular night-time routine for kids and the importance of good oral hygiene.
MEDIA CONTACT: Diane Hurd, 614.532.5279, email@example.com
CINCINNATI (November 29, 2017) — The HealthPath Foundation of Ohio is pleased to announce the inaugural Emerging Health Leader Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to high school seniors living within the Foundation’s 36-county service area who are involved in a Health Professions Affinity Community (HPAC) or health professions club.
The Emerging Leader Scholarship was created to student engagement in pressing community health concerns and health careers. In 2018, HealthPath will award two (2) scholarships of $1,500 each to high school seniors who have made strong progress in addressing local community health concerns through their HPAC or health professions club project and who hold aspirations to become a health care professional in the future.
The scholarship may be used for any post-secondary, health-related degree or certificate program leading to a career in primary, dental, behavioral, specialty, or other health care. The scholarship may be renewed by each recipient for up to four years provided they meet renewal requirements.
Applications, including a letter of recommendation from the club advisor and proof of admission to a post-secondary program, are due Sunday, April 1, 2018, by midnight. Applications must be made through our online application. For more information or if you have questions, please contact Tara Behanan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-768-6139.
For additional information on specific health fields approved to apply for this scholarship, please visit our website.
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