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Mercy Foundation Receives Grants for Rural Dental Initiative

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The Healthy Kids Outreach Program (HKOP) of the Mercy Foundation, Roseburg, OR, was awarded two grants to support continued dental hygiene and education for students in Douglas County. The C. Giles Hunt Charitable Trust donated $5,000, and $3,000 was given by the Juan Young Trust.

The Mercy Foundation established HKOP to help improve the health and well-being of children throughout Douglas County. One HKOP program helps improve dental health by providing assessments, preventive treatments, dental hygiene education and connections to care at schools throughout the county.

School site clinics, staffed by hygienists, provide full screenings, including fluoride varnish and sealants to untreated, erupted molars. Each student receives an oral hygiene kit that includes toothbrushes, tooth paste, floss, tooth timers, and a report card. When a child has an urgent dental need, the foundation helps their families get connected for an appointment with one of 16 local participating dentists.

The HKOP dental team also helps students understand the “how” and “why” of dental care through an interactive Dental Learning Lab, where children engage in age-appropriate, hands-on activities.