Saturday, April 21, 2018

Regional oral-health coalitions getting $1 million in grants from Delta Dental to develop and implement programs

In response to a 2016 study of the oral health of Kentucky's children, Delta Dental of Kentucky has given $1 million to launch five regional oral-health coalitions, formed in partnership with Kentucky Youth Advocates. Four of the five regions have announced what they plan to do with their money.

Findings from Delta Dental of Kentucky and Kentucky Youth Advocates study
(Lexington Herald-Leader map)
The 2016 study, "Making Smiles Happen" found that the number of third and sixth graders in need of early or urgent dental care has increased since the last study, completed in 2001; that 40 percent of them have untreated cavities; that more than half do not have sealants; and that their oral health was largely determined by their socioeconomic status.

The Appalachian region's initiative, called "Oral Health of Eastern Kentucky," or OAK, received a $200,000 grant to promote continuous data collection, and implement community projects and outreach programs to educate the region on predominant oral health concerns and solutions.

The Louisville region’s initiative, called "United for Kids’ Smiles," received $200,000 to help improve oral health in children through age 6, by bridging the gap between medical and dental providers, education on preventive care, and expanding use of fluoride varnish in primary-care clinics.

The Northern Region Oral Partnership received nearly $150,000 to help improve the oral health of under-served or at-risk children in the area, through improving oral-health literacy, providing education on preventive care, and aiding in access to oral-health services.

The Western Regional Oral Health Coalition got $200,000 to improve oral health in children by training and educating dental providers, increasing the use of tele-dentistry, and investing in dental care for uninsured children.

The Central Kentucky Oral Health Coalition is still working on its proposed initiative and funding will be available to them once it is completed and approved, according to Kentucky Youth Advocates.

Click here for a full scope of work for each region's project, along with a video.

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