Giving Kids Something to Smile About
Fiscal Agent: Danbury Public Schools Administration Center. The town of Danbury, like many in Connecticut, had a significant population of children who had never had access to preventive dental care, or any dental care at all. Three year grant.
To address this gap, Danbury started working in the schools. As part of the foundation’s oral health collaborative grant portfolio, CT Health awarded a four-year, $600,000 grant in 2003 to create the Danbury Public School Community Oral Health Initiative.
With these funds, the Danbury initiative set up a partnership among the public schools, dental providers, and community health organizations to bring quality dental care and education to the places where vulnerable families liveschools, community programs, and other access points.
The results have been profound. The Danbury collaborative has more than doubled the number of children insured under HUSKY who receive treatment for dental disease, and nearly tripled the number who get regular preventive care. Also, they have been able to successfully integrate non-dental community partnerssuch as physicians, pediatric health centers, social service agencies and others.
Now that the program has been established, Danbury Public Schools are looking ahead, developing a plan for program sustainability. The Danbury Collective envisions a self-sustaining community collaborative overseeing oral health programs that will include:
- Mobile dental units serving both the Danbury and New Fairfield school districts
- Dental care at the Roberts Avenue School
- Continuation of prenatal and age one outreach programs through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program
- An independent Head Start dental program
And CT Health was there to support the next chapter with a three-year, $360,000 grant to ensure long-term effectiveness.
Now, that’s something to smile about.