Community Health Center is the recipient of an $85,000 grant from the Reed and Carolee Walker Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. The grant is to provide dental screening, fluoride varnishes, case management and oral hygiene education to children grades K through 8 who are enrolled in the Eagle Point, Prospect and Butte Falls School Districts.
“We will provide preventive and oral health education to about 3,100 students,” said Cynthia McCarty, dental hygienist with Community Health Center and coordinator of the project. In many cases, the dental screening uncovers oral infections or multiple dental caries. Parents are then contacted by an outreach worker to assist with accessing timely and affordable restorative dental care in partnership with the Children’s Dental Clinic and other resources.
According to the Oregon Smile Survey (2009), every day, 5,000 Oregon school children are in need of urgent care due to pain and infection from tooth decay. For many, their suffering will only worsen because they cannot afford, and do not have access to, a regular dentist. “We are really pleased to be able to remove cost as a barrier to dental health for the children,” says McCarty. “Cavities, or dental caries, take a heavy toll on a child’s health, well-being and academic performance. We want to do what we can to keep kids in school, learning and pain free.”
The Mission of Community Health Center is to promote the health of low-income, working uninsured and other vulnerable children and adults. Established in 1972 by a group of concerned community residents, the organization provides affordable primary and preventive health care services for patients of all ages and backgrounds through clinics located in Ashland, Medford, White City and most recently, a School-based Health Center located at Eagle Point High School.
The mission of The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. OCF works with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds to support the community causes they care about. Through these funds, OCF awards more than $60 million annually in grants and scholarships.