Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers will provide free, preventative dental care and oral hygiene education to more than 3,000 underserved children across the East Valley.
Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert medical centers will provide free, preventative dental care and oral hygiene education to more than 3,000 underserved children across the East Valley, thanks to a nearly $500,000 grant from a voter-approved tax revenue fund.
CHW Foundation-East Valley received the $493,872 grant from First Things First to fund an estimated 6,800 fluoride varnish treatments, dental screenings and referrals as well as oral health education as needed for families in Ahwatukee Foothills, Chandler, Gilbert, Guadalupe, Mesa, Queen Creek and Tempe. In addition, local dentists, pediatricians, family practice physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will receive training on best-practice oral health education for children.
"Oral health plays a significant role in a child's development, yet Arizona children exhibit tooth decay at the rate of three times the national average," said Rich Frazier, vice president and executive director of the CHW FoundationEast Valley. "This one-year grant will provide fluoride varnish treatments, a technique that helps prevent tooth decay, and education to children at schools, day care centers and other community programs throughout the entire East Valley."
First Things First was created in 2006 when Arizona voters, through the Proposition 203 ballot initiative, decided to set aside 80 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold to fund the expansion of education and health programs for children from birth through age 5. Under the terms of the proposition, decisions about how to best use the funds are made on a regional basis by 31 councils made up of local leaders.
Chandler Regional is a 225-bed hospital at Dobson and Frye roads in Chandler. Mercy Gilbert is a 206-bed hospital at Val Vista Drive and Loop 202. Both are Catholic Healthcare West facilities.