Loma Linda University School of Dentistry Receives $3 Million Award from First 5 Riverside to Offer Oral Care Services to Children with Special Health Care Needs

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s collaborative efforts with First 5 Riverside provide the growing number of families in Riverside County with access to oral health care services for their children with special health care needs, First 5 officials say.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend

About 840 children with special health care will receive oral health care services annually within the next four years, thanks to a $3 million grant to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry.

Loma Linda, Calif. (PRWEB) April 05, 2013

About 840 children with special health care needs are expected to receive access to oral health care services each year through a $3 million grant awarded to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry by First 5 Riverside Children & Families Commission, also known as First 5 Riverside.

About 750 of the children are expected to receive follow up dental treatment each year, through the provisions of the grant dedicated to providing oral health care services to underserved Riverside County children with special health care needs through age five.

The grant will be allocated over the next four years.

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program will deliver the services provided by the grant.

Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s collaborative efforts with First 5 Riverside provide the growing number of families in Riverside County with access to oral health care services for their children with special health care needs, First 5 officials say.

“Oral health is a critical aspect of children’s overall health and their ability to be successful in school. Oral health concerns are a primary reason for children’s absence from preschool or kindergarten, and obviously children in pain are not prepared to learn,” says Harry Freedman, executive director of First 5 Riverside. “These oral health issues are particularly acute for children with special health care needs, and we are pleased to partner with Loma Linda University to provide this much needed service for young children with special health care needs and their families.”

“We are blessed to have these funds to serve children with special health care needs,” says Dr. Carla Lidner Baum, associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and director of the Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program.

She says the grant supports the university’s goal of reaching out and providing treatment to the underserved. The grant offers assistance to uninsured or underinsured families so that their children with special health care needs gain access to oral health care services, case management services, oral health care education for parents and caregivers of children with special health care needs, transportation, and financial assistance.

A significant barrier in obtaining dental treatment for children with special health care needs is the cost of general anesthesia, which is often required for children with special health care needs to receive dental treatment. General anesthesia is expensive and not a covered benefit of publicly funded insurance programs.

“Because these children have special health care needs, the parents often face additional challenges,” says Dr. Lidner Baum. “We serve children with dental insurance who may require assistance bridging the gap between the amount of insurance reimbursement and the actual cost of treatment.”

First 5 Riverside is a division of Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. Funded by Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues, it supports health and early childhood education services designed to help children, prenatal through age five, develop a strong foundation for success in school and throughout their lives.

The Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry previously received an award of $840,000 from First 5 Riverside for a pilot program from October 2010 through June 30, 2012. During the pilot year, 789 children with special health care needs received oral health assessments, of which 701 children were referred to dental providers for treatment.

Photo Caption: About 840 children with special health care needs are expected to receive oral health care services annually within the next four years, thanks to a $3 million grant awarded to Loma Linda University School of Dentistry by First 5 Riverside Children & Families Commission, also known as First 5 Riverside. In this file photo, Vivian Olguin, now 2, of Coachella Valley, visited the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s Pediatric Clinic a few months ago for a follow up after receiving inpatient dental treatment, with assistance from the Early Childhood Special Care Dental Program.

###

About Loma Linda University Health (LLUH)
Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University's eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center's six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, LLUH is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, LLUH is a faith-based health system with a mission "to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ."

About Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is one of 63 schools in the United States that trains students form at least 75 countries in the dental sciences. During the year 2011, 184 students received degrees among those offered in dentistry, dental hygiene, the International Dentistry Program and eight postgraduate programs. There were more than 118,419 patient visits in various clinics where students hone their clinical skills and prepare for board examinations. Students also volunteer for service in mobile clinics, health fairs, and community clinics. Many of the School’s 113 full-time, 218 part-time, and 137 volunteering dental faculty promote global oral healthcare through international lectures and in supervising students in the Service Learning International Program.

About First 5 Riverside
First 5 Riverside, the Riverside County Children & Families Commission, is a division of the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services and is funded by Proposition 10 tobacco tax revenues. Established by the County Board of Supervisors in 1999, First 5 Riverside supports early childhood development through funding for early education, health and child care services that benefit children, 0 through 5 years of age. Research shows this support helps children develop a strong foundation for success in school and throughout their lives. For more information about First 5 Riverside programs and other funded services, call 800-266-3880 or visit http://www.rccfc.org


Contact