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ADA Foundation announces three Give Kids A Smile grant recipients

January 30, 2018 The ADA Foundation said Jan. 25 that three organizations will receive funding as part of its 2018 Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) Continuity of Care Grants.

The $10,000 awarded to Minnesota-based Children's Dental Services, whose GKAS program will serve 500 children ages 0-26 in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The agency will use the grant funding to provide X-rays, cleanings and emergency care, among other treatments.

"Providing a full range of ongoing care and completing treatment plans provides the best oral health outcomes for the children we serve, and would not be possible without the support of this ADA Foundation grant," said Sarah Wovcha, CDS executive director.

The LSU School of Dentistry's Department of Pediatric Dentistry is collaborating with the New Orleans Dental Association on their GKAS program, and will receive a $12,500 grant from the Foundation. Their 2018 focus is on 200 children at a local school with a high proportion of recent immigrants. In the past, many children from this school have faced barriers to follow-up care because they are subject to a five-year waiting period before they are eligible to receive Medicaid. The grant will allow them to double the number of children for whom they will provide restorative and surgical care following the GKAS event, from 50 to 100.

"Many dentists feel that access to care is not a problem for poor children due to government programs and safety net clinics. However, there is a large, silent population of children who fall through these gaps and suffer due to lack of care despite their parents' best efforts," said Dr. Janice Townsend, associate professor and chair of the LSU School of Dentistry's Department of Pediatric Dentistry. "Our whole school is proud to serve these children and get them on track to have healthy teeth for a lifetime."

The third recipient is the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic, which will serve 75 low-income American Indian families with children ages 0-17. A 2010 Indian Health Service survey found 39 percent of American Indians ages 2-5 in Oklahoma City have cavities. The number nationally is 27 percent. The program will provide continuity of care to the children attending by providing follow-up treatment for about 67 patients during the 12-month period after the event.

"Preventive care is critical to maintaining good dental health and overall well-being," said OKCIC Dental Director Dr. Mona Farzaneh-Joseph. "It's important to educate children and parents about proper dental care to reduce and help prevent tooth decay and other serious issues that can arise from inadequate care. Give Kids A Smile Day allows us to do just that."

The ADAF received 38 project proposals for its 2018 GKAS Continuity of Care Grants. To learn more about this and other ADA Foundation programs, or to make a donation, visit www.adafoundation.org.