FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oral Health America Receives Grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities® for Smiles Across America®

CHICAGO, February 20 – Oral Health America (OHA) recently received an $841,399 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to expand Smiles Across America® (SAA) to improve the oral health of the youngest members of our communities through the Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project.

RMHC initially helped launch Smiles Across America, which addresses the most common preventable health epidemic children face today: tooth decay (caries). Through SAA, school-based and school-linked sealant programs nationwide are able to provide preventive oral health services and education to children who may not have access to regular care.

As part of a three-year initiative, RMHC and OHA have established a mutual goal of impacting the oral and overall health of children aged birth to five years old through the Early Childhood Caries Prevention Project. This Project, which will also include a partnership with the University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, aims to reduce the incidence of childhood tooth decay by providing parent engagement and education and bi-annual oral health screenings and fluoride varnish applications as well as working with families to establish a dental home and case management for those children identified as high risk.

“At RMHC, we are committed to the health and well-being of children and their families,” said Sheila Musolino, president and CEO of RMHC. “Our vision is a world where all children have access to medical care, and their families are supported and actively involved in the children’s care. Our investment and partnership with OHA is an important step in addressing the pediatric oral health needs of children in the United States and the fulfillment of this vision.”

“With this grant our continued partnership with RMHC, Oral Health America is strategically positioned to impact the health of very young children through coalition building, partnership development, campaign/communications strategies and advocacy across the country,” said Beth Truett, President and CEO of Oral Health America. “By focusing efforts on developing and piloting a large scale initiative that targets the youngest members of our population, we plan to establish and implement a set of protocols that can be widely utilized in various community settings. We look forward to this opportunity, which will bring us together with esteemed researchers and other current Smiles Across America partners to impact the lives of low-income children and their families.”

This generous grant welcomes RMHC to the OHA family of Million Dollar Donors. Their commitment to improving the oral health of the youngest and most vulnerable populations will be acknowledged at OHA’s 27th Annual Gala & Benefit on February 22, 2017.

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CONTACT:
Tamara Reed Tran
Oral Health America
(312) 836-9900
tamara.reed.tran@oralhealthamerica.org


ABOUT ORAL HEALTH AMERICA
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 501,000 children annually, the Wisdom Tooth Project®, which reaches tens of thousands of older adults, and the Campaign for Oral Health Equity, which prioritizes 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.

ABOUT RONALD McDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES®
Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®), a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and their families. Through its global network of nearly 290 Chapters in more than 64 countries and regions and its three core programs, the Ronald McDonald House®, the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, RMHC keeps families with sick children close to each other and the medical care their child needs at leading hospitals worldwide. RMHC programs not only provide access to quality health care, they enable family-centered care ensuring families are fully supported and actively involved in their children’s care. For more information, visit rmhc.org.

® Smiles Across America and Wisdom Tooth Project are both registered trademarks of Oral Health America

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