‘Miles Of Smiles’ Program Gets Donation

CareFIRST Carolina Foundation has been awarded $25,000 from the First Citizens Foundation for the new “Miles of Smiles” portable dental program. 
The unit will provide basic dental services for the children of five area counties (Chesterfield,  Darlington, Dillon, Lee and Marlboro counties) the program is targeted to children with no dental home and who qualify for Medicaid services.  This best practice model will be staffed by Dr Sean Boynes, DDS who is the CareSouth Carolina Director of Dental medicine.
CareFIRST Foundation president Charlie Gray, III said:” This unit will be able to address many of the area’s unmet dental needs as well as to help alleviate some of the transportation problems faced by parents for their children. It will give CareSouth Carolina the ability to bring dental services directly to those who need them using a school or existing community center or church as a gathering point”
Ann Lewis CEO of CareSouth Carolina and Executive Director of CareFIRST Carolina Foundation stated “This is the Culmination of a much needed regional project. Over 22,000 children in our area have no dental insurance or can not afford any preventative care. We thank Steve Jacobs, Mike Caskey and the First Citizens Foundation for their support. We are proud that they share our vision of a healthier future for our areas children.”
Gray stated, “The continuing stressful economic picture of our region is causing more and more families and especially their children to have to go without dental services. Dental disease and tooth aches are the leading causes of school absenteeism”
The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services records show only 36% of children on Medicaid under the age of 18 received any preventative dental service in 2001 in South Carolina . the local area numbers of untreated cases are becoming even greater due to continuing local job losses and rising health insurance costs.
Steve Jacobs, foundation representative and market executive for First Citizens stated: “The “Miles of Smiles” dental program will make oral health services more accessible to area children while they are at school and will be a tremendous convenience to their parents and guardians the First Citizens Foundation is proud to be a part of this regional program.”
CareFIRST Carolina is a regional type 1 supporting foundation.  It raises funds and project capital for CareSouth Carolina, a non profit regional community health center providing health services for the underserved citizens in 5 area counties (Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Lee and Marlboro counties)  The CareFIRST Carolina Foundation is continuing to work to raise an additional $160,000 to purchase supplies and to continue to fund unmet services of this mobile dental unit serving Medicaid and underserved children of five counties.
For more information on ways you can support the CareFIRST Carolina “Miles of Smiles” portable dental unit, contact Mark Sobiski at 843-857-0111, ext. 307.

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