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Washington State Dental Association

Snapshot: WOHF Meeting the need by reducing the need

Oral Health Initiative is having an Impact
The WOHF provides treatment to working poor families of Boys & Girls Club members within the scope of the Boys & Girls Clubs Oral Health Initiative. This WOHF Initiative is helping not only members, but their families.  The WOHF provides treatment for families with absolutely no resources utilizing its Oral Health Education and Treatment Operatory in the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club in Seattle, and Medical Teams International (MTI) Dental Vans. Club members take part in oral health education programs throughout the year at all participating clubs.
There are approximately 167,000 members of Washington Boys & Girls Clubs. WSDA member dentists and University of Washington dental students are active in providing education and treatment in the operatory, which can schedule 2,500 patients annually. Many members are referred to dental homes following treatment. A growing number of volunteer dentists also are setting aside entire days to see patients in their offices at no cost.

Adopt-a-School Initiative
The Adopt-a-School program teams school nurses with local dentists to identify and to provide free emergency dental care for students who cannot function in the classroom due to unmet dental needs. The program is designed to assist students who have no resources for treatment and serves all students regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or country of origin.
More than 200 volunteer dentists have adopted 555 schools throughout the state, providing emergency care worth thousands of dollars for students with no resources for treatment, and some volunteers choose to schedule a follow up appointment for those with severe problems.

Community Partners in Prevention
The WOHF has established relationships with several organizations to provide donated dental treatment that includes comprehensive oral health education for the patients. The free education program is necessary to qualify for treatment. The goal is not to just meet the immediate need, but to reduce future need by giving each person the information and tools necessary to prevent dental disease. 
In King County, the WOHF is currently working with Youth Force University; Seattle Parks Teens Youth Violence Prevention; YWCA Women’s Homeless Shelter; Puget Sound ESD Head Start, Early Head Start, and ECEAP; Neighborhood House, and YouthCare, with others in development.
In other parts of the state we are involved with Washington Juvenile Detention Centers; Benton-Franklin Head Start and ABCD; and so far this year the WOHF has provided free oral health education to more than 12,000 students in Washington schools, and has delivered oral hygiene kits in all of those schools with Title I status.


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