WOHF President Dr. John Carbery was the first dentist to see patients in the dental operatory at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club in Seattle which opened April 24.
The partnership between WOHF and Boys & Girls Clubs of King County is unique in providing dental services within a Club in the state of Washington. Our hope is this partnership will be used as a national example for increasing access to oral health services for families and communities in crisis who traditionally have little access, said Matthew Watrous, Boys & Girls Clubs of King County executive assistant. Many of the youth we serve have never been inside a dentist office - so through this partnership we are bringing the dental services to them. The WOHF has been out in front of this issue and we are excited to see the results.
This single chair dental clinic is part of the WOHF Boys & Girls Club Oral Health Initiative, a multi-faceted education and access program designed to change the way dentistry is valued and understood and to prevent dental disease through education and access to care as Partners in Prevention with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington.
One goal is to reduce the incidence of dental disease in low-income families by empowering children to assume more personal responsibility for their own oral health, helping families understand the impact dental disease has on the entire body, and teaching them how dental disease can be prevented.
WOHF is helping families understand the value of good oral health as it relates to overall health and increasing access to care for those children who have no resources for dental care and/or no access to dental care due to caregivers lack of time and transportation. By providing free education, access to diagnostic and follow-up dental care for children who have no resources and for those with coupons who have not seen a dentist in the past 12 months, and with the Boys & Girls Clubs ability to provide encouragement and transportation when needed, WOHF can help kids have good dental experiences. Changing the way a family values oral health can help decrease the incidence of dental disease and increase utilization of existing dental resources available to low-income families.
Patients may be scheduled Monday through Friday to accommodate the availability of volunteers. Please contact the WOHF office at the Washington State Dental Association, (206) 448-1914, to learn more about volunteer opportunities.