Mail applications to: PO Box 454 Grand Marais, MN 55604
October 2014 REPORT
The Oral Health Task Force is running full speed ahead this fallwith ISD Middle and High School screenings which were held on September 17th and an upcoming “Free Day” at the Grand Marais Family Dentistry on October 3rd, 2014. You’ve probably noticed some of the advertising being done through boreal, News Herald, WTIP interview and flyers posted in businesses around town announcing the “Free Day”.
There will be additional school screenings in the months to come to include Sawtooth Elementary, Birch Grove and Great Expectations. Follow-up calls are made to parents of those children who need additional dental work and to see if the Oral Health Task Force can be of help. Grand Portage has a dental bus from Cloquet, MN that performs dental screenings.
The Oral Health Task Force is currently working on a transportation plan. This will involve transporting children with dental appointments from school to the dental office and back to school. Of course, there are many procedures to be ironed out. Gwen Carmen from Sawtooth Elementary has been working closely with the Oral Health Task Force committee on this project.
Grand Marais Family Dentistry hired a dental therapist named, Bill Heitzman. Bill was very excited to become involved with the Oral Health Task Force. He screened the children on September 17th. Bill plans to put together a program on education for parents as well as the children at the various schools. We are thrilled to have Bill on board.
The 2013/2014 school year began with dental screenings in November at Cook County ISD and Sawtooth Elementary. For this school year, it was decided to screen every other grade and next year we’ll screen those who were not screened the previous year and so on and so forth. As a result, 55 children were screened. In December, we screened 21 children at Great Expectations. Good news to report from Great Expectations and the Grand Marais Family Dentistry’s office is that all the children at Great Expectations are now cavity free. There had been one remaining child with cavities who has now been seen and helped through the Oral Health Task Force. Birch Grove screening is scheduled for January 7th, 2014.
The OHTF committee members, along with Georgene Daubanton worked with Principal Gwen Carmen and Kay Borud, School Nurse, to institute a follow-up parent program for those children who were identified with possible dental issues at the screening. The day of the school screening, a letter is sent home with each child reporting what was seen in the “Peek in the Mouth”. Three months later, a school follow up letter will be mailed to those parents from the school nurse whose children might have a dental issue as a result of the “Peek in the Mouth” screening. A series of questions are included in the letter. The response will help us to help the parents whether financially, answer any questions, or perhaps transport their children to the dental office. Georgene will work with Kay Borud and prepare those letters for mailing. The dental office will also come in to play throughout this process in reporting if any of the children were seen in their office. This of course will show a measure of success with the three month follow-up letter.
Karl Hansen, Executive Director of the North Shore Health Care Foundation, represented the Oral Health Task Force on WTIP on Tuesday, January 4th. The interview was fabulous. If you missed the interview you can go on WTIP’s web site and catch it. Karl plays an important role in this organization with his help, vast knowledge and financial expertise is always appreciated.
Georgene attended the Early Childhood Screening on Wednesday, January 5th at Sawtooth Elementary School for those children entering Kindergarten next year. The Oral Health Task Force provides brochures, applications, toothbrushes, crayons and coloring books. This is an opportunity to meet the parents and their children. In case they don’t have dental insurance, this is the perfect time to explain the sliding fee scale, see if they qualify and explain then how the whole process works.
For the first month of 2014, the Oral Health Task Force has paid $1,529.00 for six individual encounters receiving dental services at the Grand Marais Family Dentistry’s office. The Oral Health Task Force is off to a good start in 2014.
We would like to thank the
for their generous donation to the oral health task force.