BRIGHTON, COLO. (January 11, 2019) – On January 15, 2019, Kids First Health Care (Kids First) and Salud Family Health Centers (Salud) will begin offering dental services to students at the Brighton High School-Based Health Center in collaboration with 27J Schools. Aiming to increase access to preventive dental services, Salud will provide dental services to Brighton High students once a week at the school’s new health center.
Dental decay is one of the most common chronic health conditions that impact medically underserved children and youth. Beyond the health consequences, dental decay can also affect students’ self-esteem, eating habits, and ability to focus in the classroom. In Colorado, more than seven million school hours are lost each year due to acute oral pain and infection. Yet, dental decay is nearly 100% preventable.
“For those of us in the dental field, we know that for high schoolers, oral health isn’t always at the top of the priority list,” said Ethan Kerns, DDS, Salud’s Chief Dental Officer. “We know that performance in school does falter when they’re having dental pain. If we can come to the school, make the kids more comfortable, reduce barriers to parents taking time off of work and students missing school, and help their performance, it’s really a win for everybody.”
The school-based health center at Brighton High will offer the following preventive dental services on site: screenings, cleanings, fluoride varnish, and sealants. For restorative services, x-rays, and exams, students will be referred to Salud’s health clinic in Brighton. The dental program will complement the health care services currently offered at the school-based health center, including annual physicals, immunizations, sick and injury care, management of chronic conditions, medical screenings, and health education.
The new school-based health center opened in September 2018 as a collaborative project involving 27J Schools, Kids First, Salud, and Community Reach Center. Kids First and Salud began partnering in 2017 when the two agencies launched a dental program at Adams City High School in Adams County School District 14.
BOK Financial Biz Bash and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation generously contributed the funding for dental equipment to make this project possible. BOK Financial Biz Bash is an annual concert fundraiser that has contributed millions to child-focused nonprofit organizations in Colorado and Arizona. Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation is a charitable foundation that works to advance oral health equity in Colorado.
About Kids First Health Care: Kids First Health Care is a registered 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of infants, children and youth. Since 1978, Kids First has fulfilled this mission by providing high-quality, accessible primary health care services to the children and youth of Adams County and beyond. Kids First opened the first school-based health center in Colorado and currently operates eight school-based health centers in Adams County. Kids First also provides school nursing services in two school districts. For more information, please visit www.kidsfirsthealthcare.org.
About Salud Family Health Centers: Salud Family Health Centers provides medical, dental, pediatrics, pharmacy, and behavioral health care services to keep you and your family healthy! Salud serves the north central and northeastern counties of Colorado with twelve clinics, three walk-in clinics, and a mobile unit. All Salud clinics accept Medicaid, Medicare, CHP+ and most private insurance plans. A sliding fee payment scale is offered based on family size and income, and insurance enrollment assistance is available. To learn more about Salud services or to find a clinic nearest you, visit www.saludclinic.org.
About 27J Schools: 27J Schools educates over 18,000 students from Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Lochbuie, and Thornton and encompasses parts of Adams, Broomfield and Weld counties. The mission of 27J Schools, with the support of the family and community, is to ensure that all students have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for present and future competence and success. 27J Schools operates on a four-day school week schedule. Classes are held Tuesday – Friday.