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Blue Ribbon Foundation Supports Mobile Dental Van for Un/Underinsured Children in Carbon County

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By: Christine Zavaskas
January 27, 2014
Pictured at the check presentation (from left to right) are: Dr. Sheila Smith, DMD, Mobile Dental Van; Christine Zavaskas, The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania; Karen L. Kroboth, RDH, CDA, Mobile Dental Van; Emmalyse Vavra; Bryce Miller; and Justin Miller, CDA, Mobile Dental Van.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. — February is designated by the American Dental Association as National Children’s Dental Health Month, and The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) is funding a program that provides dental exams and education to at-risk children in Carbon County.

The recent $10,000 Blue Ribbon Foundation grant was awarded to Blue Mountain Health System, Inc. to support the Healthy Smiles, Happy Kids Mobile Dental Van.  With its ability to travel to schools throughout Carbon County, the Mobile Dental Van offers easily accessible preventive and restorative dental services directly to students.

An additional 225 un/underinsured children in Carbon County will be reached by the Mobile Dental Van during the coming year, thanks to the grant.

“More than 3,500 children in Carbon County use Medical Assistance as their primary insurance, but no dentists in the County accept it as payment,” said Joe Guardiani, vice president of fund development at Blue Mountain Health Services.  “The Mobile Dental Van fills an important gap in services, and we are grateful to The Blue Ribbon Foundation for helping us meet the dental health needs of our community.”

Each child served by the Mobile Dental Van will receive dental examinations twice per year, oral hygiene education, take home dental care materials, and other services (cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, restorations or extractions, and sealants) as needed.

“Our Foundation recognizes that good dental care is key to overall physical health, especially in children,” said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation.  “We are pleased to be able to help keep these vital services available to children in Carbon County.”

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  In more than a decade of service, The Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to 190 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 191,000 at-risk individuals.