HCC to Launch Mobile Dental Unit

The Health Care Collaborative (HCC) of Rural Missouri, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, has developed a mobile dental program called Healthy Smiles for Life. The program will provide onsite oral health services to children living in HCC’s rural service area. Healthy Smiles for Life is funded through a Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) grant that allows businesses to donate and receive a 70 percent tax credit. Donations are currently being accepted.

Among the services the mobile dental unit will provide are oral health screenings and preventive and restorative services. The unit will be equipped with two operatories and staffed by a dentist, dental hygienist and dental assistant. The program is an extension of HCC’s two federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) – Live Well Community Health Center, Waverly and Live Well Community Health Center, Concordia.

“Since opening the FQHCs, our request for onsite school services has grown exponentially,” said HCC Executive Director Toniann Richard. “We currently take our mobile services to Head Start programs, migrant farmworker programs, United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS) Head Start and two local school districts.”

Richard said there are several schools waiting for help to meet the needs of their district. The Healthy Smiles for Life program plans to serve the following school districts: Carrollton, Fort Osage, Santa Fe R-X, Tina-Avalon, Hale, Norborne, Hardin-Central, Richmond, Concordia, Odessa, Oak Grove, Grain Valley, Orrick, Wellington-Napoleon and Lafayette C-1.

This move comes at a time when oral health problems continue to impact school performance among underserved school children. According to a 2012 Oral Health in Missouri report produced by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Missouri Foundation for Health and the REACH Healthcare Foundation, less than 30 percent of Missouri Medicaid children received dental services in 2010.

“The Healthy Smiles for Life program will help children and parents overcome transportation barriers that circumvent preventive care,” Richard said. “The mobile unit propels our mission to increase access to quality, affordable care. We encourage businesses to support this effort. Your donation yields a 70 percent return at tax time, plus it will make a lasting impact on the children who will be served.” HCC plans to roll out the mobile dental unit this fall.

For more information, visit hccnetwork.org, call Toniann Richard at 816.807.7774 or send email to Toniann@hccnetwork.org.

About Health Care Collaborative of Rural Missouri

The HCC develops, implements and supports countywide and sometimes regional programs that help create access to health education, awareness, prevention and treatment services. The HCC also owns and operates the Live Well Community Health Centers of Concordia and Waverly. These federally qualified health centers operate as full service health clinics that accept all insurances including Medicaid and Medicare, as well as sliding-fee scales based on income for the uninsured.

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