The S2AY Rural Health Network Supports Dental Hygiene Month by Reaching Out to Needy Families
During October 2012, the S2AY Rural Health Network reached almost 6,000 under served patients (mostly children) through the distribution of dental kits in food pantries throughout the 6 counties served by the Network (Steuben, Schuyler, Seneca, Wayne, Ontario and Yates). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 19% of children ages 2-19 have untreated cavities. With help from sponsors like the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, Wegmans and Colgate, the Network was able to reach the most needy families within their service area and provide them with the tools necessary to access the dental care they need and improve oral hygiene.
The S2AY Rural Health Network is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that strives to integrate, promote and expand appropriate components of the Public Health delivery system to improve health outcomes for all residents of the Network region. The Network acknowledges that dental health is critical to overall health, therefore, dedicating a significant amount of time and resources to improving dental health in the region served.
Through an active Dental Steering Committee, the Network contracts to provide health screenings, cleanings, fluoride varnish and sealants through an in-school dental services program for children who lack access to a dental home. Several thousand children are served through this program each year and many more are provided with dental health education. Through this food pantry initiative during the month of October, the Network was able to reach thousands of additional children in need and provide them with valuable education and resources.
The Network is in the process of planning another dental kit outreach initiative within the local food pantries of the counties served for October 2013. We hope to reach even more children this year and further improve dental health within the Network region.