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2012 GKAS Kick-off Media Advisory

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Ohio dentists help children take a bite out of tooth decay

Sen. Sherrod Brown to help Ohio Dental Association kick off the 10th annual Give Kids a Smile with Team GCD Smile, Cleveland dentist volunteers and Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine

MEDIA ADVISORY             

Contact:                     Kathy L. Woodard, ODA public service director

January 27, 2012        (614) 486-2700

 Note to media: Due to the need for signed parental consent and health history, Give Kids a Smile events can only see children who are registered in advance; please do not indicate to the public that the event is open to unregistered children or walk-ins.

 WHO: Members and officers of the Ohio Dental Association (ODA) and Greater Cleveland Dental Society; faculty, staff and dental students from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, along with dentists from the Irving and Jeanne Tapper Pediatric Dental Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital; the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile of Northeastern Ohio; and legislators, dignitaries and other guests.

Between 350-400 children coming from William Cullen Bryant, Clark and Scranton Elementary Schools and the Carl & Louis Stokes Central Academy in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will be given free dental care. Earlier in the week, free dental screenings will be provided by volunteer dentists in Colgate’s Bright Smiles Bright Futures mobile dental unit (see list below).

Among the speakers are U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown; Dr. Theodore Wymyslo, Director of the Ohio Dept. of Health; Bud Baeslack, Provost and Executive Vice President of Case Western Reserve University; Dr. Kim Gardner, president-elect of the Ohio Dental Association; Karen Butler, Director of Public Health with the city of Cleveland; and Dr. Jerold Goldberg, dean of the School of Dental Medicine.


WHAT: The official statewide launch of the ODA’s 2012 Give Kids a Smile Ohio programs. This is the tenth annual GKAS program at which dentists join with their peers nationally to educate, examine and/or treat children in need of dental care for free. In Ohio, over 1,800 dentists and other volunteers will provide free examinations, screenings, cleanings, preventive and restorative care, and other dental services to nearly 17,000 children at 90-100 sites throughout this year. Many sites will examine children on one day and offer free follow-up care after.


WHEN: Program: Friday, Feb. 3 from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Speakers, presentations from legislators and other dignitaries, and fun events are scheduled during this time. 

                Dental care: 8:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (or until the last child is cared for). Up to 20 children will receive restorative dental care in the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, which will be set up outside the clinic lobby. Inside the dental clinics, 350-400 elementary children will receive a comprehensive dental exam, fluoride varnish and cleaning; X-rays and sealants will also be given as needed.


                Additional Dental screenings: the Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures mobile dental unit will visit three Cleveland elementary schools as follows: George Washington Carver School on Jan. 31; Marion C. Seltzer School on Feb. 1 and Harvey Rice Elementary on Feb. 2. Approximately 300 children at each elementary school are offered a free dental screening and oral care products.


 WHERE: The Dental Clinic at the School of Dental Medicine, 2123 Abington Rd. Cleveland 44106.


WHY: Because dentistry cares. In Ohio, nearly 17,000 children will be offered a range of free dental programs throughout this year in sites across the state to help improve their oral health – and will also be educated on the importance of maintaining daily oral hygiene and preserving their newly-restored oral health.


SIGNIFICANCE: To provide education, screenings, preventive, and restorative services for Ohio children and to create awareness about the access to dental care problem that exists in the U.S. This is particularly significant given that the U.S. Surgeon General reports that more than 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness, and the Ohio Department of Health reports that access to dental care remains Ohio’s number one unmet healthcare need.


Estimated dollar value of the free services for the 2012 GKAS Ohio so far is over $926,500. In the first nine years of GKAS, Ohio dental volunteers provided more than $8,261,137 in free dental services to over 168,000 Ohio children in need!


Give Kids a Smile is an initiative of the American Dental Association in which dental professionals throughout the U.S. volunteer collectively on one designated day to provide needed oral health care and education. However, the program has grown to “more than just a day” and in many areas of Ohio, programs are held on multiple dates. Children participating in GKAS generally come from Ohio schools that serve low-income populations, local youth clubs, HeadStart programs, social service agencies, and other organizations that serve disadvantaged children. In addition to dental care, education is an important component of this program because children often share toothbrushes with other family members and don’t know how to brush properly. Parents may not know what causes a cavity or even realize that their child is in pain from tooth decay.


QUOTES: President of the Ohio Dental Association, Dr. Mark Bronson of Cincinnati, said that as access to dental care remains Ohio’s number one unmet healthcare need, the need to educate policy makers and all Ohioans about the importance of good oral health also remains strong.

 “The commitment of Ohio dentists and their staff to help those less fortunate is compelling and indicative of how much dentists do care about their community. Seeing how the Give Kids a Smile Ohio program has grown from helping 3,000 children its first year to more than 15,000 in 2011 surely tells its own story.”

 Bronson further stated that no child should hurt and be unable to function because of dental disease. “It is also important to continually educate families, communities and policy makers on the importance of a child – and his or her parents – keeping their mouths healthy. That will help keep our children in good oral and overall health, and pain free from tooth decay!”


PARTNERS:   Give Kids a Smile Ohio would not be as successful without assistance from others.  It is supported in Ohio by the Ohio Dental Association, with assistance from the Columbus and Cleveland/Pittsburgh regions of Henry Schein Dental, and nationally by the American Dental Association, Colgate, Henry Schein Dental and Dexis Digital X-ray Systems, Inc.  Locally, it is also supported by the Columbus and Cleveland/Pittsburgh of Henry Schein Dental, along with PNC Bank and Brennan Financial Group, Ltd. and the Greater Cleveland Dental Society. 


For additional information on the Ohio Dental Association’s GKAS and other programs, visit www.oda.org



 AGENDA OF THE DAY … Give Kids a Smile Ohio kick-off program

CWRU School of Dental Medicine Dental Clinic           Friday February 3, 2012 (9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.)

2123 Abington Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106


Special guests: children from William Cullen Bryant, Clark and Scranton Elementary Schools and the Carl & Louis Stokes Central Academy in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District who will receive free dental care


Guest speakers confirmed

   Dr. Kim Gardner, president-elect of the Ohio Dental Association  

   U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown

   Dr. Theodore Wymyslo, director, Ohio Dept. of Health  

   Karen Butler, Cleveland director of public health, representing Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson

   Bud Baeslack, Provost and Executive Vice President of Case Western Reserve University

   Dr. Jerold Goldberg, Dean, School of Dental Medicine



  • The Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown & Congresswoman Fudge
  • The Office of the Governor of Ohio
  • Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson
  • President of the Ohio Senate
  • Ohio House of Representatives


Other dignitaries invited:

  • Officers from Colgate & Henry Schein Dental (product sponsors of GKAS)  
  • Team members from Colgate’s Bright Smiles/Bright Futures (confirmed)
  • Ohio’s House of Representatives members Nickie Antonio, Barbara Boyd, Bill Patmon, and Sandra Williams  
  • Ohio Senator Shirley Smith
  • American Dental Association News & Ohio media
  • Representatives of Ronald McDonald Charities of NE Ohio
  • Leadership and faculty of CWRU


Guest appearances:


Dr. Rabbit (Colgate’s bunny mascot)

Tooth Fairy  

Ronald McDonald

Slider from the Cleveland Indians,

Chomps from the Cleveland Browns

MoonDog from the Cleveland Cavaliers

The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will be set up outside the entrance to the dental clinic to provide restorative care that morning to an estimated 20 children who have been pre-examined and diagnosed in need of care. This is a three-chair state-of-the art mobile dental clinic donated by Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Northeastern Ohio.

Dental care for an estimated 350-400 children will begin in the two dental clinics starting at 8:45 a.m and continue for about four hours. Children will receive dental exams, fluoride varnish, sealants and x-rays where indicated, and oral hygiene instruction. Providing the free dental services will be dentists from the Greater Cleveland Dental Society, CWRU faculty and first – fourth year dental students.