St. Lucie County Oral Health Coalition
Chair: Elizabeth Pantano
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NEWS RELEASE: Oral Health Coalition of St. Lucie County Announces Expansion of HANDS Pediatric Dental Program to 5 New Schools
January 16, 2012 (Fort Pierce)
HANDS Pediatric Dental Mobile Clinic will add 5 new schools to its student dental screenings this school year. The Oral Health Coalition, working closely with St. Lucie County Schools and the St. Lucie County Health Department, will now offer screenings to students at St. Lucie Elementary, Sam Gains Academy, Lawnwood Elementary, Northport K-8 School, Savanna Ridge Elementary School. If funding allows, free dental screenings will also be held for students at Lakewood Park Elementary, and Fort Pierce Magnet School Of The Arts. The lack of basic dental services for uninsured children and their families are negatively impacting our children’s readiness to learn. Children that have dental decay and pain have problems speaking, concentrating in school, eating solid food, and with behavior.
Participating children at the mobile clinic are screened for dental decay and dental hygiene habits. Children also receive oral health education, a toothbrush dental package, and a referral to a dentist if necessary.
“The St. Lucie County Health Access Network and Oral Health Coalition are excited to bring our pediatric dental program to more schools. In its second year, this program is already demonstrating remarkable results in improving children’s oral health. We would love to be able to bring this program to every school in our county.” said St. Lucie County Health Department Director, and HANDS President of the Board of Directors, Larry Lee.
“Through the support of our major funding partners, United Way of St. Lucie County, The Early Learning Coalition, St. Lucie County School District, and the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, we are now able to expand our program into the Port St. Lucie area, where the need is just as prominent as other areas of the county.” said HANDS Executive Director Doug Anderson.
HANDS Pediatric Dental staff needs your help to collect 8,000 toothbrushes to allow for all students who need screenings to get dental care and education. You can drop toothbrushes at the Health department, or the HANDS Clinic.