For Immediate Release: February 20, 2018
Vermont Department of Health
Ronald McDonald Mobile Dental Van Coming to St. Johnsbury School
February is Children’s Dental Health Month
ST. JOHNSBURY — The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile – a dental van sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities and Community Health Centers of Vermont, will be rolling up to the St. Johnsbury School to bring dental care to students who don’t have a primary dentist.
The fully equipped dental office-on-wheels will start providing curbside services in April, but families and community members will be able to check it out at an open house at the St. Johnsbury School on Wednesday, February 21 from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. as part of Children’s Dental Health Month.
St. Johnsbury School Nurse Louisa Driscoll is excited that the local and state collaboration will bring the Ronald McDonald dental van to the school. “Proper dental care is essential for children's health and learning,” said Driscoll “Many of our children are in need of dental care. This will provide a service that is sometimes difficult to access.”
“Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD agrees. “Too many of our children who need care don’t have a regular dentist. People may not realize how important that is to overall health and in preventing chronic diseases and illness. A child can’t learn if they are out sick or in pain,” explained Dr. Levine. “This is why we worked with the local schools and dentists to help bring the van to St. Johnsbury. We really appreciate the commitment of the sponsors to our children’s oral health.”
Students will have access to comprehensive dental care, nutrition and oral health education. The Health Center in Plainfield provides the management, staff and financial support to bring the van to local schools. Services from licensed dentists, hygienists, and assistants include cleaning teeth, exams, fillings, x-rays, extractions, and sealants.
Van Coordinator Kaitlin Day said their mission is to help all kids have a better chance of success in school. The program is designed to eliminate barriers to quality dental services for Vermont children who do not have a dental home, and to provide families with referrals for ongoing care with a primary dentist or specialty care, if needed.
“Improving children’s oral health is part of the Health Department’s focus on reducing chronic disease across the lifespan, bending the curve toward better health,” said Dr. Levine.
Local schools interested in this initiative can call 802-748-5151 to reach Abbie Montgomery, public health nurse supervisor with the St. Johnsbury Local Health Office.
For information about how the St. Johnsbury Local Health Office supports families in the community, visit http://www.healthvermont.gov/local/st-johnsbury.
Learn more about efforts to improve the oral health of Vermonters: http://www.healthvermont.gov/wellness/oral-health
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