FCH grantmaking in the area of oral health is focused on:
1) Adoption of school-based dental program into FCH school districts not yet served.
2) Raise oral health awareness and its effect on an individual’s overall health.
Recognizing the importance of early oral health prevention and intervention services for youth, FCH initiated and has continued to fund school-based oral health services throughout its service area. Studies have shown that preventing and delaying cavities in children can have life-long positive effects on their oral health as well as their overall future health. Examples of current funding and grantee activities:
- Maria Seymour Brooker Memorial has been providing free screening, cleaning and sealants for K-8th grade in the Region #1 School district in Litchfield County, Connecticut since 2007. A Harvard-based research team found that in its first 4 years of the program, the cavity rate among 3rd graders was reduced from 41% to 18%. About one-third of students enrolled in the school system take advantage of the program. FCH is committed to finding ways to make this program more self-sustaining.
- In Columbia County, FCH has been providing funding for the operations of a mobile dental clinic – while the program was started by the Columbia County Healthcare Consortium, it was turned over to Columbia-Greene Memorial Hospital in 2009 who has expanded the program to reach schools throughout the county. FCH has also contributed to the purchase of an Electronic Medical Record system so as to improve reporting and billing related activities.
- Hudson River Healthcare’s dental clinic located in Amenia, NY has been funded to bring oral health prevention services to eastern Dutchess school systems. To this end it has been very successful in launching the program in the Dover United School District and seeks to expand into more districts in the upcoming years.
- Community Health and Wellness of Greater Torrington, Inc. provided organization-wide information, education, training and support for the entire staff of Noble Horizons on oral health. The curriculum was designed to provide useful information about the impact of good oral hygiene on the health of the residents as well as specific training for those responsible for the direct care of the residents. Results showed a much greater awareness of the impact of oral health on the overall health of residents. It also strengthen the ability of the front line and supervisory staff in ensuring that each resident was assisted in his/her daily oral health routine and that problems with an individual’s oral health were identified early.