Omaha, NE. Serious barriers to dental care exist in the areas of Omaha where the poorest children live. Thanks to the generosity of United Way donors a two-year grant from the United Way of the Midlands for $154,600, Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. and OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc., will be able to expand mobile dental health care to children in Northeast and Northwest Omaha.
Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. and OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc. share a common mission: To provide culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. To this end, CDHC and OWCHC seek to address the serious barriers to care that exist in the areas of Omaha where the poorest children live. In fact, the fastest growing populations of children in the city are those that currently have the highest dental disease rates and the lowest access to dental care. Currently, 14% of children ages 2-17 in Northeast and Northwest Omaha have not seen a dentist in the past year. Barriers to care are extensive and include cost, fear, limited access to dental services, and the lack of awareness of the need for care (2011 PRC Community Health Needs Assessment).
United Way of the Midlands funding will help fund the pediatric dental mobile unit in serving 15 schools annually. Second and third grade students are the primary target population. It is at this age, that permanent molars develop. Kindergarten and first grade students will be the next priority as well as children identified by the school nurse as requiring treatment. An average of 80-100 children will be served at each of the 15 identified schools, with an estimated 1,200-1,400 students being served each year.
The CDHC/OWCHC pediatric dental services mobile unit is a “full-service pediatric mobile dental clinic on wheels”. The vehicle is equipped with a wheelchair lift, two patient examination rooms, a reception area, and heating and cooling systems to enable year-round care. Traveling to schools, community organizations, and Head Start sites throughout North Omaha, the mobile dental unit provides care to children who would otherwise go without, by providing screening and treatment services for children who qualify for the free and/or reduced lunch program.
With funding by United Way of the Midlands, Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. and OneWorld Community Health Centers will continue to impact the lives of parents, students and educators in Metropolitan Omaha as evidenced by the CDHC Mission Moment, featuring Kellom Elementary School principal, Mrs. Carri Collins and Kellom parent, Ms. Tosha Williams. Their comments can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZA8Y3FaJ-cc.
“The grant funding received from United Way of the Midlands is essential to our efforts to provide accessible pediatric preventative and diagnostic dental services to families in need. The opportunity to serve our children in their school and community setting helps to create an environment of service coordination and allows us to addresses the health needs and well-being of our children living with health disparities and/or poor access to pediatric dental services. On behalf of our dental provider staff at Charles Drew Health Center (to include Dr. Robert Quaintance, DDS – pictured left) and OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc., I offer sincere thanks and appreciation to all who continue to support United Way with your annual gifts,” said Kenny D. McMorris, MPA, CHCEF, Chief Executive Officer of Charles Drew Health Center, Inc.
About United Way of the Midlads:
We focus the efforts of many to help our neighbors stand strong – by addressing basic needs, and fostering success in the classroom and the workplace.www.UnitedWayMidlands.org
About Charles Drew Health Center Inc.:
Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. (CDHC) was incorporated in 1983 as the first federally-qualified community health center in Nebraska. For the past 33 years, CDHC has provided affordable health care in Metropolitan Omaha for individuals and families with limited or no health insurance coverage. True to its mission, CDHC remains dedicated to providing quality, comprehensive health care in a manner that acknowledges the dignity of the individual, the strength of the family and the supportive network of the community. To learn more about CDHC’s medical, dental, pharmacy, and behavioral health services, along with other health care programs, visit www.CharlesDrew.com.