May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Congratulations to 2016 Multi-Year Grant Recipients

March 2016 Volume LI Number 2


Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children’s previous single year grantees, Cook Children’s Health Care System/Save a Smile in Fort Worth, Texas, along with St. Vincent de Paul Virginia G. Piper Medical & Dental Clinic (SVDP) in Phoenix, Ariz., each were awarded multi-year Access to Care grants of $375,000 ($75,000 per year for five years). Each five-year grant carries $75,000 annual commitments from FY 2017 through FY 2020. 

Founded in June 2003, Save a Smile, by Cook Children’s and the Children’s Oral Health Coalition in Tarrant County, Dallas, Texas, has orchestrated dental care for the community’s most underserved children. Children eligible for the program are pre-kindergarten to third grade at high risk for dental disease from schools pre-selected by the Save a Smile program and participating school districts. Cook Children’s Health Care System/Save a Smile was awarded a Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children $20,000 single year Access to Care grant in 2013. 

Cook Children’s mission emphasizes improving the health of every child in every region through prevention and treatment of illness, disease and injury. Volunteer dentists provide services and treatment to children in targeted schools at no charge. 

Save a Smile’s vision is to improve the overall health of children using oral health and community resources to create lasting change. Their mission is to provide a collaborative, community-based, volunteer-driven program that connects families to access to dental care for children who have severe oral disease or oral health problems. Their volunteer dentists and specialists have donated more than $6.6 million in dental care to children in Tarrant County.

Among other needs, grant funding will provide an opportunity for a Save a Smile Coordinator, transportation for families who are unable to get to/from the dentists, oral health kits, print educational materials and reference materials. Grant funding will be used for supplies needed for oral health evaluations and for the development of a multilingual educational program that will be provided at school events such as parent/teacher association meetings, health fairs, and more. 

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Virginia G. Piper Medical & Dental Clinic’s mission is dedicated to feeding, clothing, housing and healing individuals and families in our community who have nowhere else to turn to help. SVDP is a 2004 recipient of a Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children single year Access to Care grant of $20,000. During June 1, 2014 – May 31, 2015, they were able to serve 1,704 children with 5,560 visits. 

St. Vincent de Paul Clinic collaborates with school-based health organizations to develop comprehensive dental services for uninsured children throughout their school years. From 1996 to 2015, the SVDP staff dentist, volunteer dentists and dental students provided over 11,000 uninsured, low-income children with nearly 64,000 visits in the central Phoenix corridor. 

All children begin dental care through the prevention services and are first seen by an Affiliated Practice Registered Dental Hygienist for cleaning, fluoride, sealants and education. They are then referred to the restorative program. Most patients have had limited access to dental care prior to receiving school-based services and require multiple types of services. 

Collaborating with the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD), St. Vincent de Paul would like to expand comprehensive preventive and restorative services to all uninsured low-income children in the District. CUSD serves over 41,000 elementary through high school students. It opened the Chandler Care Center (CCC) in 1995, as a family resource center for medical, dental, counseling and social services for the many uninsured and low income families. 

Grant funding supports St. Vincent de Paul Clinic’s long-term goals to duplicate the success of SVDP with school-based health centers by providing dental care for underserved children through involvement of volunteers in support of their community as well as create a valuable pediatric experience for fourth-year dental students. As a result, they plan to see an increase in dental visits, more children served and more children completing dental treatment plans. 

Providing a Dental Home

Cook Children recently opened the state’s first ever, fully integrated medical/dental home for indigent children which ensures families receive full care, regardless of their needs (medical, dental, social, financial). They help families enroll in CHIP or Medicaid, helping children become permanently connected with a dentist. Save a Smile emphasizes the importance of oral care and provides the resources they need to obtain an ongoing relationship with a dentist. They offer an oral health kit which includes a list of dental resources. 

Chandler Unified School District is committed to providing a dental home for the children who remain within their school district or reside in the city of Chandler. Chandler Care Center (CCC) is the physical location for medical, dental and social services, and families identify it as their healthcare home. The CCC clinic is the only clinic in the East Valley that provides no-cost dental services for uninsured children. They identify patients and affiliated dental hygienists and hygiene students provide preventive services through Dignity Health. 

St. Vincent de Paul Clinic provides restorative dental services and coordinates dental services that cannot be provided at the CCC site with the main SVDP Clinic, such as endodontics, complex oral surgery and orthodontics. CCC coordinates 6-month recall visits with the preventive service. Chandler Unified School District provides preventive and restorative supplies. Incidental costs, such as insurance, are funded by SVDP Clinic.

Services are consistent, coordinated, and delivered supporting completion of the dental treatment plan in a timely fashion. This is accomplished by greater availability in appointments and reducing or eliminating the need for "wait lists," and scheduling priority for return patients.

To learn more about Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children grants, please visit

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