Since the last newsletter, the Oral Health Task Force (OHTF) summer has been fairly quiet . Two of our fabulous grant writers, Paul Nelson and Jetty St. John, have been busy
submitting grants, and writing final reports. There is one grant being worked on that has huge potential for this community. We’re keeping our fingers crossed and hope to report some positive changes in the near future.
The OHTF hired Amy Schmidt and Patrick Knight, to produce and film three educational videos for the North Shore Health Care Foundation/Oral Health Task Force web site. The videos are a wonderful tool in providing dental education to our community. Go to the home page of this web site and click on Oral Health. The videos can also be seen on Sawtooth Mountain Clinic’s web site, Cook County Public Health and Human Services, and Grand Marais Family Dentistry.
The OHTF changed the age of our clients from 18 months to 18 years of age to 26 years of age. I am very happy to report several clients older than 18 have taken advantage of the new sliding fee scale.
Now that our schools are back in session, Grand Marais Family Dentistry and the
OHTF will be conducting school dental screenings throughout the county. There will be another free day at Grand Marais Family Dentistry on Monday, November 16, 2015.
April 2015 REPORT
The Oral Health Task Force recently completed dental screenings for the 2014/2015 school year at Sawtooth Elementary, Cook County ISD High School, Birch Grove Charter School and Great Expectations Charter School. Bill Heitzman, Dental Therapist from Grand Marais Family Dentistry (GMFD) and Georgene Daubanton, Coordinator for the Oral Health Task Force conducted the “Peek in the Mouth” screenings.
The screening procedure includes sending out a letter to the parents informing them of the screening. The parents are given the opportunity to “Opt Out” from having their child screened if they prefer. The list of students is sent over to Grand Marias Family Dentistry to determine if any of the students were recently seen. If so, those children are removed from the screening list. This year every other grade was screened. Excluding those children who “opted out” from being screened and those who were absent and/or recently seen at the dentist’s office, 72 children were screened at ISD & Sawtooth Elementary. A huge thank you goes out to Gwen Carmen, Elementary Principal, for all her help in making this year screening possible.
There were 22 children screened at Birch Grove Charter School and 7 children screened at Great Expectations Charter School.
Screenings are also given through the Early Childhood Screening process which includes 3-5 years olds getting ready for preschool/kindergarten. This is a great opportunity to meet with the parents and offer great educational tips as well as the OHTF sliding fee scale for dental services. Bill Heitzman conducts a risk assessment with the parent related to the child. The assessment shows whether the child is at high, medium or low risk for tooth decay. The screenings are generally once a month during the school year and average around 10 children.
The Oral Health Task Force Committee developed a transportation program for students needing a ride to a dental appointment from school and back. The service is great for parents who would have to leave work and perhaps lose some pay. To date, Georgene has transported three children from Birch Grove Charter School. Transportation forms are available through Grand Marais Family Dentistry or the Oral Health Task Force Office.
Cook County ISD 166 offered to transport children for the Free Day on April 9th. Please call Grand Marais Family Dentistry for an appointment and request the transportation form. The form must be filled out and sent to the school.
We had a successful Free Day at the Dentist on October 3rd, 2014. There were 28 children who received care ranging from an exam, sealants, x rays, fluoride and cleaning. The same services will be offered on April 9th.
A pilot program is being funded by the Oral Health Task Force at Grand Marais Family Dentistry for a certain number of parents and children whose bacterial levels are high. There will be educational benefits for those parents along with providing options for them to lower their bacterial levels on themselves and their children. Lowering bacterial levels reduces tooth decay. The program is new and more information will be forthcoming.
The Oral Health Task Force commissioned Amy Schmidt and Patrick Knight to produce a series of Oral Health Task Force videos. The production is nearly done. The videos will be shown on various web sites to include, North Shore Health Care Foundation, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Cook County Public Health and Human Services and of course, Oral Health Task Force’s web site.
The Oral Health Task Force Committee recently increased the income levels on the sliding scale. The committee also increased the age we serve from 18 months to 26 years of age. We are very excited to offer assistance to the young adults of Cook County as well. The application and new sliding fee scale are on this web site. You can also call the office at
387-2334 to obtain an application.
We would like to thank the
for their generous donation to the oral health task force.
This program is made possible by support from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation, Mardag Foundation, Northland Foundation, Minnesota Power, 1st & 2nd Street Thrift Store, Medica Foundation and Minnesota Dental Foundation.