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Communities Rally to Fight Most Common Childhood Chronic Disease

Communities Rally to Fight Most Common Childhood Chronic Disease

The Maine Oral Health Funders (MOHF), a group of foundations that makes grants to support oral health initiatives, has awarded $244,285 to six community groups working in seven Maine counties to support efforts to improve oral health in children age 0 – 9. The goal of this four-year initiative is to reduce children’s experience of tooth decay by 10 percent through focused, coordinated efforts demonstrated in these six Maine communities.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood and it is 100% preventable.  To combat this chronic disease, the recipients of the MOHF awards will engage local networks including schools, the medical community, and child care providers to educate parents and caregivers and link children to dental care.  “We know what works to prevent tooth decay,” said Barbara Leonard, Vice President for Programs at Maine Health Access Foundation and MOHF member, “and we’re committed to helping a group of motivated communities reduce the number of kids that have to cope with this disease.”

The six community partnerships are Central Maine Public Health District, Community Dental – Farmington, Fish River Rural Health, Healthy Lakes Healthy Maine Partnership, Lincoln County Dental, and River Valley Healthy Community Coalition.

Patty Duguay, from River Valley Healthy Community Coalition is pleased to have this opportunity to improve the oral health of children in Rumford and surrounding towns. “Our project has adopted a vision that every child has a right to be cavity-free and we’ve gathered new and enthusiastic partners to help make that a reality.”

A list of grantees and contacts follows.

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About the Maine Oral Health Funders (MOHF): The purpose of MOHF is to promote strategic systemic changes that will result in improved oral health for all Maine people. In addition to collaboratively funding these community-based grants to improve children’s oral health, MOHF work to date includes convening stakeholder groups, funding a study to learn more about Maine’s oral health workforce, and sharing information about best practices and effective initiatives that promote preventive activities and interventions to achieve improved oral health. While this project represents the primary oral health grantmaking for the next several years for some of the funders, others will continue to support new oral health grants.  Members of MOHF include: The Betterment Fund, The Bingham Program, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Davis Family Foundation, Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, Maine Health Access Foundation, Northeast Delta Dental Foundation, Sadie and Harry Davis Foundation, and Sam L. Cohen Foundation.

Contact information for Oral Health Community Grants

Central Maine Public Health District
Natalie Morse  natalie.morse@mainegeneral.org
Wendie Lagasse  Wendie.Lagasse@mainegeneral.org

Community Dental – Farmington
Kathy Gregory  kathy.gregory@communitydentalme.org

Fish River Rural Health
Heather Pelletier  hpelletier@frrh.org

Healthy Lakes Healthy Maine Partnership
Zoe Miller  Zoe.Miller@opportunityalliance.org

Lincoln County Dental
Courtney Vannah  office@lcdental.org  

River Valley Health Communities Coalition
Patricia Duguay  rvhccduguay@gwi.net

Media Contacts:
Alison Webb | 207.649.9648 | Alison.jones.webb@gmail.com
Barbara Leonard | 207.620.8266 x102 | bleonard@mehaf.org

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