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Kids First Health Care and Clinica Family Health Bring Dental Services to Thornton High School

Clinica dental hygienist at THS Royal Health Center

THORNTON, COLO. (September 17, 2019)– On September 17, 2019, Kids First Health Care (Kids First) and Clinica Family Health (Clinica) began offering dental services at Thornton High School in collaboration with Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Aiming to increase access to preventive dental services, Clinica will provide dental services to Thornton High School (THS) and Bollman Technical Education Center students once a week. Services will be provided at the THS Royal Health Center, a pediatric clinic located inside THS.

Dental decay is one of the most common chronic health conditions that impacts 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.

“I am thrilled to announce that our Royal Health Center will now be providing dental services on Tuesdays for enrolled students,” said Jennifer Skrobela, Thornton High School Principal. “Data indicate that dental issues cause students to miss an average of 58 hours of school on a yearly basis in Colorado.  By taking advantage of the dental services at THS, students will receive preventative care, which will improve their health and increase their attendance and focus in class!  An enormous Trojan shout-out goes out to Clinica for providing our dental services and supporting our community!”

The THS Royal Health Center 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 Clinica’s health clinic in Thornton.  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.

“By partnering with Kids First, we are able to bring important prevention-based dental services to students at Thornton High School,” said An Nguyen, DDS, MPH, Vice President of Dental Services at Clinica. “By making dental care convenient for students, we hope to set them up for good oral health at a time in their lives when a beautiful smile is so important.”

The Royal Health Center opened in fall 2017 as a collaborative project involving the Five Star District, Kids First, and Community Reach Center. Kids First began developing a partnership with Clinica in spring 2019 with the aim of bringing dental services to THS this fall.

“We are very excited about our new partnership with Clinica Family Health and the opportunity to offer dental services at the Royal Health Center,” said Whitney Gustin Connor, Executive Director of Kids First Health Care. “Having a one-stop shop for health care at school makes it easier for students to get the care they need and stay focused in class.”

The Colorado Health Foundation generously contributed the funding for dental equipment to make this project possible. The Colorado Health Foundation is a private foundation that is committed to improving the health of Coloradans. In addition, BOK Financial Biz Bash has provided key support for the development of Kids First’s dental programming.  BOK Financial Biz Bash is an annual concert fundraiser that has contributed millions to child-focused nonprofit organizations in Colorado and Arizona.

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 https://www.kidsfirsthealthcare.org  

About Adams 12 Five Star Schools: Located just seven miles north of downtown Denver, Adams 12 Five Star Schools offers more than 39,000 students and their families the benefits of a large district with a close-knit feel. With more than 50 unique education centers, the Five Star district provides numerous opportunities for students, staff and parents to elevate student learning in every classroom, every day. The five stars represent the five unique communities the district serves: Broomfield, Federal Heights, Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster. To learn more, visit www.adams12.org

About Clinica Family Health: Clinica Family Health is a community health center, a medical safety net for those who otherwise might fall through the cracks of the American health care system. Clinica now sees more than 58,000 patients a year. Clinica operates six community-based medical clinics and three dental clinics serving south Boulder, Broomfield and west Adams counties. Clinica is recognized at state and national levels for its innovative care model and exceptional health outcomes. For more information, please visit https://www.clinica.org/

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