The National Assembly on School-based Health Care (NASBHC) provides a grant to enhance oral health services for students in underserved communities. The program is rolled out through schools.
The reason for the program is that dental care is the most commonly cited unmet need among children.
NASBHC chose 20 school-based programs nationwide from those who applies, to receive a grant. Cedars-Sinai’s COACH for Kids and Their Families’ mobile medical program was one of those selected.
“We’re delighted to receive this grant, which enables us to add a vital new component to our oral health services in 14 Los Angeles elementary schools,” said
Michele Rigsby Pauley, RN, MSN, CPNP, and COACH for Kids and Their Families program director said the organization was delighted to receive the grand funding. With the money, they were able to add a vital new component to their oral health services for 14 elementary schools in Los Angeles.
“With this new funding, our clinicians will receive additional training, and we’ll add a much-needed fluoride varnish treatment to our dental services.”
– Michele Rigsby Pauley.
One thing people don’t really understand is that if a child’s teeth are damaged by lack of care, that damage is with them forever.
Rigsby Pauley said, “so many kids in desperate need for dental care, we added oral health education and services to the COACH for Kids program in 2003. Including a dental hygienist going into classrooms educating young students about proper dental care. Early damage to children’s teeth can cause damage to adult teeth.”
Cedars-Sinai’s COACH for Kids is one of the programs from the Maxine Dunitz Children’s Health Center. The program provides regular no-cost health and social services to schools, shelters and neighborhood facilities throughout Los Angeles.
“One of the most pressing, unmet health needs of children and adolescents that school-based health programs seek to address is oral health,” said Linda Juszczak, executive director of NASBHC. “We’re excited to offer technical assistance and training to such a diverse group of recipients so that they can address these difficult challenges and keep students healthy and learning.” A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, the group aims to expand and strengthen school-based health programs.
The National Assembly on School-based Health Care provided the 20 $15,000 grants, which were funded by Kaiser Permanente. The grants allow the selected recipient organizations to conduct oral health screenings and education, apply fluoride varnish, and ensure treatment for kids with cavities and other dental problems.
Another nonprofit, Oral Health America, is donating 5,000 units of fluoride varnish, and training clinicians to administer the fluoride varnishes.
The COACH for Kids program delivers oral preventive services such as assessment, screening and fluoride treatment, plus referrals to follow-up dental care, to communities in Los Angeles.