Mayor to Announce New Families and Education Levy Award for Dental Health
SEATTLE - Mayor Mike McGinn, Odessa Brown Clinical Director Dr. Ben Danielson, Neighborcare Health Dental Director Dr. Martin Lieberman, Seattle Public School staff and staff of Public Health Seattle/King County gathered at Madison Middle School today to announce the award of new Families and Education Levy investments for student's dental health.
The 2011 Families and Education Levy contained funding for the first time for dental health services for Seattle students. Dental health is an important part of overall health and affects children's ability to succeed academically. Tooth decay is a common chronic childhood disease and is experienced more often by youth of color and youth in low-income families. Untreated dental disease can interfere with students' learning. Providing dental care in schools can improve students' dental health and is an opportunity to reduce barriers to learning. During planning for renewal of the Levy in 2011, PHSKC proposed funding a pilot program to bring dental health services into schools.
After extensive review by a panel that included community dental health experts, Neighborcare Health was selected as the provider and awarded $274,680. Including Neighborcare Health's required matching resources, the total dental health investment for next school year will be $390,971.
"This new investment builds on the successful health programs that have been part of the Families and Education Levy since its inception in 1990," said McGinn. "The Planning Committee that recommended the Levy renewal considered how we should fill additional health needs of our students. I want to thank them for recognizing the important role of dental health in making sure our children are free of pain and can take advantage of the educational opportunities available to them."
Dr. Lieberman added "Dental health is an essential part of school success. You can't learn if you're in pain. With school screenings we can identify the students who need care and connect them with a dental home or provide the care right in the school."
Neighborcare Health will continue to receive Levy funds through summer 2019 contingent on meeting targets related to student access to dental health services.
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