Dec 4, 2006    #172
Contact: Bonnie Branson, associate professor, Dental Hygiene Division

UMKC Dental Hygiene Division selected to receive $3,500 Award will benefit children’s dental care in Missouri

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry’s Division of Dental Hygiene recently received a $3,500 award from the American Dental Association Foundation’s Samuel Harris Fund.

The award will allow the division to help improve children’s dental care throughout the state of Missouri. UMKC’s Dental Hygiene Division was one of 73 programs selected for this financial award out of more than 440 applications.

Oral health resource kits will be created by dental hygiene faculty and students, and placed in the seven Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Regional Offices across Missouri. The kits will provide oral health visual aids and curricular materials for statewide educational programs. Dental hygiene students will deliver these programs while on rotation to rural and underserved areas of Missouri. It is estimated that 5,000 children will receive educational programs using these prepared materials over a five-year period.

Currently, students provide treatment and community education to underserved areas during the summer semester of the dental hygiene curriculum as part of a collaborative agreement between UMKC Division of Dental Hygiene, the AHEC and Missouri’s Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Additionally, the students will set an example for personnel in the AHEC office to comfortably use the materials for continuing oral health programs without the presence of dental hygiene students.

“We are very pleased to have been selected from the hundreds of worthy applicants to receive funding from the ADAF’s Samuel Harris Fund,” Bonnie Branson, R.D.H, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Division, said. “We look forward to using these funds to improve the dental health of children in Missouri.”

Established by the ADA Foundation to prevent childhood tooth decay, the Samuel Harris Fund is a permanent endowment and receives generous support from the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Each year, grants up to $5,000 go to educational and preventive programs seeking to improve children’s dental health.

The Division of Dental Hygiene is part of the UMKC School of Dentistry and awards graduates a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene. Each year, the division selects 30 students; and, in 2005, the division celebrated 50 years of graduating classes.

UMKC, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health and life sciences, and urban affairs.



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