January 22, 2012
OSHKOSH — Students have many issues racing through their mind as they get ready for school each morning.
And for most, proper dental hygiene is an afterthought, but for others, due to no action of their own, it’s something that starts and ends with brush and paste, while an actual visit to a dentist is a rare occurrence, if that often.
The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is trying to fill that need in the community by seeking community donations to help fund a mobile dental clinic.
“The lack of dental care options for low-income families has been a problem in the Oshkosh area for a long time,” said Eileen Connolly-Keesler, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, in a Community Newsroom story to The Northwestern.
“The need continues to be great and is growing,” said Robert Glass, executive director of Tri-County Community Dental Clinic, through which the mobile clinic would run. “We have no doubt that without our Focus on the Children program and now, the new mobile dental care bus, that many of our underprivileged youth in the area would continue to see their oral health decline due to the financial struggles many area low-income and no-income families face.”
The Foundation is looking for the greater Oshkosh community to help raise about $150,000 to fund the operations of the clinic.
The mobile clinic would visit public schools in Oshkosh twice a week and other schools in Winnebago, Calumet and Outagamie Counties three times a week. Treatments in the clinic would range from dental screenings to restorative care and hygiene education.
The estimated cost to run the clinic for the first year is $780,000, including buying the bus and equipment. Donations such as $300,00 from the J.J. Keller Foundation, $100,000 from the John E. Kuenzi Foundation and a matching $100,000 grant from the Foundation will go toward funding the rest of the cost along with help from Theda Clark Medical Center Foundation, the Women’s Fund of Oshkosh, Oshkosh Corp., the Mielke Family Foundation and the Jane and Tad Shepard Family Foundation.
For more information on the clinic or to make a donation call (920) 426-3993 or go to www.oshkoshareacf.org/donor_d.cfm?fid=630.