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IRH Receives $8,000 Oral Health Grant

The Institute for Rural Health (IRH) is pleased to continue its partnership with the Allen County Health Department to provide preventive dental services to children in Allen County. The Allen County Health Department secured grant funds from the Kentucky Department of Public Health and will contribute $8,000 to support the Mobile Dental Unit (MDU) in the provision of these services in fiscal year 2013-2014. The funds will be used to purchase dental supplies for the MDU as well as toothbrushes, toothpaste and other home hygiene products for the children treated in the MDU.  Bonny Petty, RDH will continue to serve as the principle investigator for this project.  The partnership began in 2004 and focuses primarily on second and seventh grade students in the Allen County school system. During that time, the IRH has provided  dental exams, sealants, dental referrals and oral health education to over 2000 children.

The IRH has accomplished this by engaging students from Western Kentucky University’s Dental Hygiene program. This project gives the WKU students an opportunity to observe the unmet oral health needs in the community while giving them an opportunity to meet those needs. During the 2012-2013 school year, 87 dental exams were provided to students at Allen County Primary Center and James Bazzell Middle School. Additionally, 182 dental sealants were placed and 142 cavities were detected. Referral letters were sent to the parent or legal guardian for all children who participated in the services offered.

The IRH values the partnership with the Allen County Health Department and looks forward to another successful year!

To learn more about the Institute for Rural Health, please visit http://www.wku.edu/irh/index.php

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