OHA Expands to Bring Needed Oral Health Care to Cleveland

Cleveland Partners Join National School-Based Dental Health Program Network to Serve Children in Critical Need of Dental Care


CHICAGO, January 27, 2016 — Oral Health America (OHA) is pleased to welcome Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) of Northeastern Ohio, Inc. and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s to the Smiles Across America® (SAA) network. The partnership, which includes $20,000 in grant funding over two years from Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc. (will afford the Cleveland-based programs expansion of oral health prevention services and staff to serve Northern Ohio’s children in need.

“Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio and Rainbow Babies & Children’s recognize that good dental care is essential to overall health and well-being. Through their services, thousands of underserved children will have the opportunity to have a pain-free mouth and healthy life,” said OHA President and CEO Beth Truett. “We are honored to welcome these worthy collaborative programs to the SAA network by helping them expand to capacity and positively impact even more children.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeastern Ohio partnered with Rainbow Babies & Children’s to launch Ohio’s first Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. Completely equipped to care for children’s immediate dental needs, the 42-foot-long mobile clinic provides the same services as a dentist’s office.
Funding from OHA will enable our Ronald McDonald Care Mobile to serve an additional 1,500 children total in both urban and rural areas where poverty is high and access to dental care is virtually non-existent.

“The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile serves a vital need in our community and we are very proud of the impact it has made in its first five years on the road,” said Patti DePompei, President, University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital. “The ability to expand our services and provide care to even more children moving forward is an exciting next step on our path toward breaking down the barriers that prevent children from receiving proper dental care.”

On Wednesday, January 27 from 10:30am – 12:00pm at FirstMerit Convention Center of Cleveland, 300 Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland, the partners will come together to celebrate with a short program and an interactive brush-a-thon featuring St. Ignatius Head Start students learning the importance of brushing their teeth.

Rainbow Babies & Children’s and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will also guide tours of the Care Mobile and provide demonstration new, cutting edge, state-of-the-art laser dental equipment. This is the only Care Mobile in the country to have this technology to provide preventive dental care.

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile are one of the first in the country to offer pediatric dentistry patients a virtually anesthesia-free alternative to the traditional drill for hard and soft tissue ablation. The dentists operate Convergent Dental’s Solea CO2 laser, which uses a unique 9.3 μm wavelength that provides a natural anesthetic effect while cutting dental enamel with unprecedented speed and precision. Patients experience virtually soundless, painless and sensationless procedures that take a fraction of the time of a traditional dental appointment because practitioners do not need to inject anesthetic or clean up blood.

On the heels of the 10th anniversary of SAA, Oral Health America supports oral health programs across the country through grant funding, technical assistance in the areas of communications and coalition building, and product donations. Each year, SAA reaches more than 460,000 children and distributes more than 500,000 units of donated dental product.

For more information about Oral Health America and its Smiles Across America® program, please visit oralhealthamerica.org.

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CONTACT: Brittany Wright, (312) 836-9900
[email protected]

OHA’s mission is to change lives by connecting communities with resources to drive access to care, increase health literacy and advocate for policies that improve overall health through better oral health for all Americans, especially those most vulnerable. Through Smiles Across America®, which serves 460,000 children annually, the Wisdom Tooth Project®, which reaches tens of thousands of older adults, and the Campaign for Oral Health Equity, which prioritize oral health alongside other chronic diseases, OHA helps Americans of all ages to have a healthy mouth and to understand the importance of oral health for overall health. For more information about Oral Health America, please visit oralhealthamerica.org

RMHC-NEO’s mission is to support the Ronald McDonald House® programs in Akron and Cleveland and help children by awarding grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations whose programs improve the quality of life for children and their families in Northeastern Ohio. RMHC-NEO awards grants to organizations with IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax exempt status whose programs benefit children in the areas of health care, medical research, education, the arts, and civic and social service. Since the chapter formed in 1987, over $10 Million Dollars has been awarded to children’s programs across Northeast Ohio, including ongoing financial support of the Ronald McDonald Houses in Akron and Cleveland, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile dental program, educational scholarships and grants. For more information, visit www.rmhc-neo.org

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s offers the most expansive pediatric care network in Northeast Ohio, with more than 740,000 annual patient encounters at 130 service locations. The vast network includes nationally-ranked UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital — Cleveland’s only full-service, freestanding children’s hospital with a medical staff of more than 745 physicians and Northern Ohio’s only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center – along with a primary care network of more than 200 pediatric and family medicine providers at 81 offices, and inpatient care, pediatric emergency services, urgent care centers, surgery centers, medical and surgical specialty clinics, advanced newborn and maternal/fetal medicine services and afterhours urban care locations that blanket Northeast Ohio. Learn more at rainbow.org