Contact Information: MORE HEALTH Inc. - 3821 Henderson Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629 - (813) 287-5032
Contact: Karen P. Buckenheimer, Executive Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - SEPTEMBER 9, 2013
Tampa, FL - According to the CDC, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children. The US Surgeon General reported that over 51 million hours are missed each year in school due to children having tooth pain.
The Hillsborough County Oral Health Coalition (HCOHC) is pleased to announce the successful implementation of the first year pilot school-based sealant program for second grade students in Hillsborough County. The program screened 553 students in 8 elementary schools and sealed 1,611 teeth! Children identified by dentists to be in need of urgent oral care were referred to dental providers and received the necessary treatment.
Four partners including the Hillsborough County Dept. of Health, Tampa Family Health Centers, Suncoast Health Centers, and MORE HEALTH, Inc. worked closely with the school district to provide the screening and sealants to children in eight elementary schools.
The Hillsborough County Department of Health coordinated the sealant program with the Hillsborough County Public School District. Dental Education for the children and parents was provided by MORE HEALTH, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of children, teens and adults through education. Dental Screening and the Sealant application was administered by Suncoast Community Health Centers and Tampa Family Health Centers.
The Sealant program was piloted in eight elementary schools; Bryan, Cork, Gibsonton, Mort, Ruskin, Shaw, Sulphur Springs and Witter. The partners presented certificates to the schools at today's School Board meeting. The program has been expanded to 16 schools for the 2013-1014 school year.
"HCOHC has always been committed to the community," said coalition chair, Karen Buckenheimer. "The expansion of the program is proof of that." Dr. Dina Howell, Tampa Family Dental Director, states, "We see children on our mobile van that have never seen or received care from a Dentist. Education and preventive services is the key to prevent tooth decay."
The Hillsborough County Oral Health Coalition was formed in Tampa in 2009, and has been a driving focus in the effort to increase access to care and advocate for optimal oral health for residents of the Tampa Bay area. Visit www.hillsboroughoralhealth.com to learn more.
HC Sealant Program 2nd Grade Permission Form [PDF]>>