The University of Colorado School of Dentistry was recently named the recipient of a three-year, $2 million grant to treat the teeth of Colorado’s underserved children. The grant, which creates a statewide program that will be known as Colorado SmileMakers, was made possible due to support from both the offices of Gov. Bill Owens and Lt. Gov. Jane Norton and the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Finance.
The majority of the $2 million grant will be used to provide dental and orthodontic care to low-income children or low-income children whose insurance is insufficient to cover the dental care they need. A portion of the remaining funds will be used to purchase, equip, and staff a mobile dental clinic that will be used for preventive care and specialty support in Colorado’s rural health centers and at health fairs beginning in 2005. The remainder of the grant will be used to equip a designated dental clinic at the new University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center’s Fitzsimons campus.
Dr. Randy Kluender, pediatric dentist and associate dean for Admissions, Student Affairs, and Minority Affairs at the CU School of Dentistry, is the principal investigator and co-creator of the grant, along with Dr. Howard Landesman, former dean of the CU School of Dentistry. The proposals were originally sent to the Colorado DHCPF to create the Colorado SmileMakers program.
“This grant not only will help underserved children in the Denver area, but with the development of a mobile clinic, it allows our faculty and students to reach out to the rural areas that have limited access to care,” Dr. Landesman said. “The children we will be able to treat now will hopefully learn what is required to help them keep their teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.”
Dr. Denise Kassebaum, the newly appointed interim dean of the CU School of Dentistry, added, “The grant is the result of the school’s commitment and continued involvement in striving to reach and treat Colorado’s underserved children.”
For more information, visit www.uchsc.edu.