March 2017 Volume LII Number 2
Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children is constantly looking for unique opportunities to partner with organizations that serve children who have the least amount of access to dental care. In October 2016, HSHC issued its very first customized grant to the LSU Health Sciences Center Foundation (LSUHSC) at the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans, La. A grant in the amount of $37,156.83 was awarded to LSUHSC to help fund the LSU After Hours Pediatric Dental Clinic. The clinic will be open two evenings per week from 5 – 8 p.m., and then on one Saturday a month from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Volunteer dental students will facilitate dental exami- nations, preventative and restorative care for children and adolescents under direct supervision of a faculty member from the LSUHSC Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
Many families in New Orleans have low wage jobs that do not include paid leave. In addition, it has become increasingly difficult for families to check children out of public schools due to the highly competitive nature of the charter school system in New Orleans. Often, when families are faced with the choice between oral health or income for rent and food, dental visits are sacrificed.
Not only does this grant provide a Dental Home to children of the greater New Orleans community, it also provides dental students with increased exposure to a population that they do not typically encounter during their clinical training. The dental program at LSU is enhancing their clinical program in cultural competency, advocacy, care of vulnerable populations and oral health literacy by being involved with the after hours clinic.
HSHC looks forward to creating future relationships with organizations and communities who strive to provide Dental Homes for all children in underserved areas. We believe that our customized grants will reach the most vulnerable communities that need access to dental care the most.
Click here for a PDF version of this article.