The Mercy Foundation, Roseburg, OR, received a generous grant of $150,000 from The Ford Family Foundation for the Healthy Kids Outreach Program (HKOP). The funds will support continued dental hygiene and dental education for students in Douglas County. Grant objectives include reducing the number of youths who require additional treatment and providing an additional 5% of students with oral health education and services.
The Mercy Foundation established HKOP to help improve the health and well-being of children throughout Douglas County. One program focuses on improving dental health through dental assessments and preventive treatments, dental hygiene education and connections to care at schools throughout the county.
School site clinics are staffed by hygienists and provide full screenings, including fluoride varnish and sealants for untreated molars. Each student receives an oral hygiene kit that includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and more. If a child has an urgent dental need, the foundation helps their family get connected for an appointment with one of 13 participating local 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. The program teaches a variety of hygiene skills and educates about unhealthy behaviors that not only impact dental care, but also affect overall nutrition and physical health.