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Maine Oral Health Funders Awards $117,611 to Six Nonprofit Organizations to Develop Plans to Prevent Dental Disease in Children

Maine Oral Health Funders Awards $117,611 to Six Nonprofit Organizations to Develop Plans to Prevent Dental Disease in Children

The Maine Oral Health Funders (MOHF) announced today that it has awarded $117,611 to six organizations to develop community-based strategies to prevent dental disease in children through a combination of prevention activities and service coordination. Grantees, which are located throughout the state, include Healthy Maine Partnerships, a community health center, a safety-net dental clinic, and a public health district. The goal of the grants is to develop plans that would lead to reducing local rates of tooth decay in children 0 to 9 by 10% in five years.

“We know the right things to do to prevent early childhood dental problems,” said Barbara Leonard, Vice President for Programs at the Maine Health Access Foundation. “There are proven ways to prevent tooth decay in children, and we want to help Maine communities put this knowledge into action.”

Grants will help communities bring together a variety of organizations that touch children’s lives, such as schools, medical and dental providers, public health organizations, WIC clinics, Head Start Programs, community recreation centers, and local businesses to put together coordinated efforts to improve children’s oral health. Communities that develop solid plans will be able to apply for additional funds to implement their plans.

“There has been great enthusiasm around the state about this opportunity,” stated Karin Anderson, a consultant to the Maine Oral Health Funders.“The Maine Oral Health Funders are extremely pleased that they will be able to award grants to support work in seven different counties.”

“According to a new survey, comprehensive oral health services continue to be out of reach for many low- and middle-income Mainers,” said Ms. Leonard. “Data from the Maine Health Access Foundation’s recent Maine Health Reform Monitoring Survey showed that significant percentages of low and middle-income people could not afford to get needed dental care in the last year. We hope that these grants will help to keep some children from ever needing treatment for dental disease in the first place.”

The Maine Oral Health Funders is a group of foundations  that convenes to share information, develop collaborative opportunities, and frame complementary funding strategies. The purpose of MOHF is to promote strategic systemic changes that will result in improved oral health for all Maine people. To date, MOHF has convened stakeholder groups, funded a study to learn more about Maine’s oral health workforce, and shared information about initiatives that promote preventive activities and interventions to achieve improved oral health.  After working together for more than 10 years, MOHF has developed this collaborative funding opportunity focused on community-led efforts to improve children’s oral health. Funds will be administered by the Maine Community Foundation.

Improving Children’s Oral Health Grant Awards
Aroostook County
Fish River Rural Health, Eagle Lake
Heather Pelletier, hpelletier@frrh.org, 444-5973
Grant: $20,000

Cumberland County
Healthy Lakes Healthy Maine Partnership/The Opportunity Alliance, Bridgton
Zoe Miller, Coalition Director, 553-5939
Grant:  $19,888

Franklin County
Community Dental, Farmington
Lisa Kavanaugh, lisa.kavanaugh@communitydentalme.org, 874-1025, x3010
Grant: $19,658

Kennebec and Somerset Counties
Central Maine Public Health District/MaineGeneral Medical Center, Waterville
Natalie Morse, Director, Prevention Center, 861-5272
Grant:  $20,000

Lincoln County
Lincoln County Dental, Damariscotta
Kathryn Young, Clinical Director, 563-8668
Grant: $19,711

Oxford County
River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition, Rumford
Patty Duguay, Director, 364-7408
Grant: $18,354

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