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APD Receives Oral Disease Prevention and Treatment Grant

August 11, 2011—Alice Peck Day’s Community Health department is the proud recipient of a grant for oral health care from the Boyle Community Pediatrics Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation.

In collaboration with the Upper Valley Haven, the grant will facilitate oral disease prevention and treatment for high-risk children in Hartford, Vermont and in the Mascoma School District in New Hampshire. The $10,000 grant will support dental clinics, oral health educational kits, and follow-up care for children who are sheltered at the Upper Valley Haven. In the Mascoma School district, the funds will be used to provide fluoride varnish treatments for high-risk elementary-school children identified through APD’s school-based dental program offered each fall in Enfield and Canaan.

The Upper Valley Haven, a non-profit organization providing emergency shelter, food, clothing, and educational programming to those in need, has firsthand knowledge of families without access to care. “The lack of access to basic dental care has far-reaching consequences to the general health and quality of life of affected children,” states Sara Kobylenski, Executive Director, Upper Valley Haven. “We are grateful to the Boyle Community Pediatrics Fund for targeting preventative and educational programs to vulnerable children, which can help to reduce more serious issues including illness, emergency room visits, and permanent dental damage,” Kobylenski added.

“While tooth decay is completely preventable, it continues to be one of the most common chronic diseases in children,” states Nancy DuMont, APD Community Health Department Manager. “For the many uninsured families dental care is often neglected and though Medicaid includes dental benefits for kids, reimbursement rates for dentists are set at such low rates that many area dentists are unable to accept new Medicaid patients into their practices. We are so very fortunate to have access to this funding that will enable us to expand the essential oral health education and preventive services for some of our area’s most vulnerable children.”