February 27, 2013 – Philadelphia, PA –During National Children’s Oral Health Month, Kids Smiles celebrated reaching 200,000 children, teens, and adults over the past five years through its award-winning Kids Smiles Education and Outreach programs. Deputy Secretary Vincent Gordon, Department of Public Welfare; Craig Circosta, Esq., Partner at Ballard Spahr and Kids Smiles Board Vice Chair; and Cheryl Janssen, Kids Smiles CEO, shared remarks in honor of the milestone.
The celebration of this milestone in February coincides with National Children’s Dental Health Month, when awareness is heightened about the importance of oral health, which is central to Kids Smiles core mission. “It’s our mission to provide the full service oral health care that our children need, combined with health empowerment education, to help improve health behaviors in our community,” explains Cheryl Janssen, Kids Smiles’ CEO, “Our Education program is provided at no cost to participants and reaches on average more than 30,000 children annually thanks to the ongoing support of donors and foundations who gave nearly $100,000 to the program last year.”
The Kids Smiles Education and Outreach program provides children, teenagers, and adults with critical oral and overall health education. Through lessons and workshops provided in the Kids Smiles dental centers, as well as in schools and other community programs, participants learn about proper oral health care techniques, good nutrition, and the link between oral and overall health, among other topics. After a visit to Kids Smiles, Dr. Bernard Dishler, President of the Pennsylvania Dental Association remarked, “We talk about Dental Literacy, but I really saw it in action. I have said for years that we will never be able to ‘fill’ our way out of this deficit of care. Your staff walks the way they talk. You are to be congratulated.”
About Kids Smiles
Kids Smiles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dental care organization with centers in Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC. It provides preventive and restorative dental care to children in underserved communities, and creates health empowerment education programs focusing on the prevention of dental disease and the development of positive personal health behaviors. Kids Smiles non-profit dental centers treat more than 60,000 children through their dental homes. Eighty-five percent of Kids Smiles patients use state funded insurance; 13% have private insurance and the remainder are uninsured.