Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dental Partnership Provides Children and Families with Supplies

“The Health Department is delighted to be able to continue its preventive dental health education program in the month of February with the help of Olean-Allegany WalMart who awarded the program a $1,000.00 grant through the Empire Housing Center. This could not have been possible without the assistance of Dr.William Veazey, Olean Family Dentistry, and the Patterson Dental Supply Company,” Dr Kevin Watkins, Public Health Director, stated.

The Health Department’s Health Education program has scheduled multiple dental health education sessions within elementary schools throughout Cattaraugus County. Children in Kindergarten through third grade will be the primary focus of the dental education program, although all ages are served year round when possible.

Dr. Watkins stated that many children are needlessly afflicted with dental disease because they cannot obtain timely preventive, educational and treatment services. Dental disease is generally preventable with timely oral care, supplemented by screening, education and a few inexpensive public health measures. Most critical is educating families and children that the mouth is no less important to our health than any other organ of the body.

Dr. William Veazey stated he has been involved in dental public health for sixteen years and participated in several dental mission trips to Mexico during and immediately following dental school.  “This is the least I could do in gratitude to a community that has welcomed me so warmly.” 

Dr. Veazey went on to say that this project came about through conversations while planning a much larger scale preventive dentistry program.  “We are working together to develop a cross-disciplinary program to reduce the incidence of early childhood tooth decay in Cattaraugus County.” 

Mr. Ed Schuh, Olean-Allegany WalMart manager stated, “We are pleased to assist Cattaraugus County Health Department through the WalMart Foundation.  The funds will help provide local schools and some food pantries with toothbrushes and toothpaste to promote dental hygiene.”

Mr. Patrick Morris, grant writer at Empire Housing Center stated, "We thank WalMart for their generous donation and are glad to be part of this important project.  This donation of supplies will help children across the county improve their dental health. It is part of Empire's commitment to continue to address important health issues.”

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