As part of the annual Canada/US Chapter Grants Programme, in 2021 grants totalling $20,000 USD have been awarded to support projects across North America and Canada. The successful projects were narrowed down from an amazing field of 40 proposals and choosing which projects were allocated the funding was a tough decision for the judging panel. The finalists cover the range of organisations involved in the fight against caries from university-based projects to hospitals to local health centres and the ACFF is proud to be enabling all of these amazing projects to go ahead.
2021 Grant Recipients include
Interlake Eastern Regional Health Authority’s project to implement caries risk assessment, topical fluorite varnish and oral health education in a primary care setting to help mitigate poor oral health outcomes. They will be working in collaboration with the inter-professional primary health team, as well as neighbouring community organisations. The hope is that as well as a reduced rate of dental caries, there will also be seen a reduced need for general anaesthesia and reduced dental pre-operative appointments in the primary care clinics.
At West Virginia University the grant is going towards providing comprehensive dental assessment for children aged 3 or younger diagnosed with NAS in seven local dentally underserved counties. Those that are in need will be referred for consultation by teledentistry. The project also aims to educate caregivers, address the dental concerns of the children and help establish a dental home for continuing care that will prevent these children developing early caries.
Cape Girardeau Public Health Center aims to revitalize basic Early Childhood Caries awareness in the Rural Health Clinic and other Public Health services such as WIC, Immunization Clinics, Preventative Services in Schools, Head Start Programmes and Day Cares. Through incorporation of the caries physical assessment and risk assessment as well as anticipatory guidance regarding oral health prevention into the Centre’s Primary Care program, establishment of a referral and communication programme and a documentation dental home for 80% or greater of the Rural Health Clinic clients under the age of 6 years, the project aims to drastically reduce ECCs in the area.
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University is aiming to help Scioto County in the Appalachian Region which has been designated as a Distressed Area due to its shrinking economy. By establishing an ECC prevention curriculum for the local dental hygiene programme, which it is currently lacking, the project aims to bridge the dental health gaps in the community. On top of this, the project will also deliver dental exams and fluorite varnish to local Head Start children.
Project HOME based at the Stephen Klein Wellness Center Dental Clinic in Philadelphia will focus on continued dental education and fluorite varnish applications for children in Lower North Philadelphia, which is a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area. By expanding dental services into primary care, the projects hopes to improve prevention of carious lesions, reduce the need for surgical interventions and help break the cycle of poor oral health in the area.
St John’s Well Child and Family Centre aims to reduce ECCs through oral health assessments conducted at their six school-based health centres, as well as developing ECC prevention education by training primary care clinicians on identification of dental disease, motivational interviewing and prevention measures to combat caries. The project also aims to improve linkages to dental services for additional treatment including fluoride varnish. Health care teams will work with their children to development self-management so that they can take ownership of their own oral health.
The ACFF are delighted to be able to support highly worthwhile projects, and encourage any and all public health initiatives related to improving caries and cavities to keep an eye on the Canada/United States Chapter grant programme in future years.