Oral health champions recognized
The Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance this week will honor champions for their contributions in providing access to affordable oral health: Dr. Matthew Burt of All Kids Dental and three alliance board members: Barbara Sullan, Liz Stark and Sandy Swanson.
Each of the champions has been instrumental in helping the Dental Health Alliance meet its mission to create a comprehensive dental health system that promotes education, prevention and access of care for all residents in Garfield, Pitkin and Eagle counties.
Burt is recognized for his service in pediatric dentistry. All Kids Dental is the only pediatric dental practice in the three-county region. On average the practice serves more than 8,500 children per year, and is a major supporter of the Smiles for Students program.
Sullan, Stark and Swanson have served on the alliance board since its inception. They have provided leadership, program development and a lot of sweat equity to ensure that the organization moved from an idea to a reality.
Sullan, a retired registered dental hygienist, provided hours in organization development. Stark, director of Community Health Services and Pitkin County Public Health, was also instrumental in organization and program development. Swanson has made oral health a priority for pregnant mothers and children since the inception, and she helped start and participates in Cavity Free at Three programming.
These are the oral health services provided by the Dental Health Alliance:
Smiles for Students
The alliance and Garfield County Public Health partner to offer Smiles for Students, an evidence-based dental health preventative program providing education, oral health evaluation, dental hygiene/cleanings, fluoride varnishes and most importantly, sealants for children in second, third, sixth and seventh grades. During the last school year, Smiles for Students served 1,650 students (a 57 percent increase in three school years) in 21 schools, and found 951 cavities in 365 kids and placed 2,084 sealants in 584 kids’ mouths. The current Smiles for Students program will be in 20 schools and will wrap up in May 2017.
Smiles for Seniors
This program provides dental services (education, oral health evaluation, dental hygiene/cleanings, fluoride varnishes and treatment referrals) for people 60 and older in Pitkin, western Eagle (El Jebel) and Garfield counties. In 2015, 100 seniors were provided these services with an additional 100 seniors who were provided a dental health screening only.
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Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.