Give Kids a Smile Day

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“Thank you SO much! I don’t know what I would do without your program! I was feeling like a failure as a parent because my baby was in pain, and I couldn’t do anything to relieve her of it. I am forever grateful to you!”

Problem Statement: The U.S. Surgeon General identified Early Childhood Caries (EEC) as the most common chronic childhood disease. EEC, caused by bacteria transfer, is a highly infectious disease. About 80% of dental disease, including ECC, is concentrated in 20-25% of children, primarily those from low-income and /or minority populations. Surprisingly, EEC it is five times more prevalent than asthma.

Goal of the Program: Improve the oral health of low-income children by providing preventative dental treatment to uninsured and under-insured children in Sonoma County, 0-18 years of age. Also, to provide access to dental insurance and dental homes through referrals and case management.

Primary Activities:

  • Provide preventive dental exams and sealants to underserved children 0-18 years of age
  • Help children in urgent need of dental treatment access emergency services
  • Assist parents in getting dental insurance and finding a dental home for their children

Outcome Highlights:

  • In 2016, ten clinic sites provided dental disease preventative services and in some cases restorative and emergency treatment for 442 low income children ages 0-18.
  • Over $200,000 in dental services provided free of charge
  • More than 180 sealants placed

Contact Information:

  • Cory Spencercspencer@capsonoma.org707-544-6911 ext. 1083

History of Give Kids A Smile! Day in Sonoma County

Since 2005, GKASD, a program of Community Action Partnership, has been serving the dental needs of the underserved children of Sonoma County. In the past ten years, GKASD has provided dental services to over 5,000 children who would not have otherwise had access to care.

2016 marked the 12th year of GKASD in Sonoma County! Ten different clinics and private dental offices participated in the event. During the two-day event, 442 children received exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatments. Last year, our chairperson was selected to visit ADA headquarters in Chicago, IL as part of a national Give Kids A Smile Advisory Board to work on implementing improvements and changes to the national GKAS program and in helping improve the branding and marketing of GKAS on a national level.

Additionally, we received a “Gold Resolution” from the Department of Public Health with the County of Sonoma in recognition of the positive impact of our work in the community. The Resolution was presented to Stacey Stirling, Operations Manager of the St. Joseph’s Dental Clinic, who has been working with the GKAS since its inception in Sonoma County. Present were many prominent members of the dental community such as, State Assemblyman Jim Wood, the President of the Redwood Empire Dental Society, members of the board of Community Action Partnership, and a member of the board of Supervisors.

Now, as we celebrate our 13th Anniversary of GKAS! Day in Sonoma County, we hope to continue to partner with more dental professionals and supporters to help children achieve optimal dental health.

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