The Kansas Department of Health and Environment‘s (KDHE) Bureau of Oral Health has recently been awarded more than $1.2 million in federal grants for this year.
“We’re delighted to be able to begin new initiatives in Kansas,” said Roderick Bremby, KDHE secretary. “These resources will give us the opportunity to ensure that our youngest Kansans have excellent oral health.”
A new Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) grant will fund the Kansas Children’s Oral Health Initiative. This will include $700,000 per year for three years to develop a comprehensive program to improve the oral health of Kansas children.
Specifically, it will fund:
• Kansas Cavity Free Kids, a collaboration with the Kansas Head Start Association to provide better access to preventive services and oral health education for children under five.
• School- based preventive services in seven sites across Kansas. KDHE partners in dental safety net clinics across the state will be given funds to start and maintain oral health outreach and sealant programs in schools across the state.
• The Kansas School Screening Initiative to help schools provide the state-mandated oral health screenings to all of their students.
• A 2012 Smiles Across Kansas Survey — the third statewide oral health survey of Kansas third- graders.
• Collaboration with medical providers to apply fluoride varnish at well-child exams.
The Bureau has also been awarded a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state infrastructure cooperative agreement. This three-year, $350,000 agreement will provide support for State Bureau of Oral Health activities such as community water fluoridation, school sealant programs, data collection and analysis and evaluation.
The state has also received additional federal funding to support the KDHE Dental Recruitment program that provides funds for dental professional student loan re-payment and grants to communities for local oral health programs. This grant is also from the HRSA and includes an additional $150,000 — it increased from $350,000 to $500,000.
The Delta Dental Foundation and Children’s Mercy Family Health Partners have provided funding for the 2010-11 School Screening Initiative to provide students in Kansas schools with toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss, as well as other dental supplies. This includes $11,000 from CMFHP and $15,000 from Delta.
“These funds will be shared with community organizations across the state to create and maintain local oral health programs working to reduce the burden of dental disease in Kansas,” said Dr. Katherine Weno, director of the Bureau of Oral Health. “This is great news not only for oral health advocates, but for all of us working to make Kansans healthier!”
For more information on oral health in Kansas, please visit www.kdheks.gov/ohi/index.html.