Washington Oral Health Foundation staff attended the School Nurses of Washington Annual Spring meeting this past week, using the opportunity to reach out to attending nurses and talk with them about their school district’s needs. Currently, some 800+ schools across the state have been “adopted” through WOHF’s innovative Adopt-A-School program that connects school nurses with local dental offices to help students with emergency dental needs. Still, many schools lack participating dentists.
WOHF is working now to adopt the following school districts: Blaine, Everett, Federal Way, Kent, Lacey, Puyallup, Tukwilla, and Washougal. There are also some schools in the Seattle area with emergent dental needs, including the West Seattle, Rainier Beach and North Seattle neighborhoods. If you would like to adopt schools in these areas or know of a school in need, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (206) 973-5211.
The most successful Adopt-A-School model is where a group of dentists adopts a group of schools in their area. Reach out to your colleagues and see who is willing to volunteer with you. Visit the Adopt-A-School page here.
▪Student is screened by school nurse or counselor for acuteness of problem, financial need, and lack of a dental home
▪If the student qualifies, the nurse or counselor calls local dental office for emergency treatment and faxes a referral form
▪The child’s parent/guardian will contact the dental office to set up the appointment
▪Parent or responsible party transports child to dental office
▪Consent and release forms are signed and treatment begins
▪No payment is expected for treatment (if the child has DSHS coupons they may be accepted for treatment rendered)
On average, school nurses make 1-2 emergency dental referrals per year, per school.