For Immediate Release
September 11, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Kansas Receives Grant to Provide Dental Services
for Children With Special Needs

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Office of Oral Health has received a four-year, $640,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration to help ensure access to dental care for children with special health care needs in Kansas.

“This federal funding will allow Kansas to establish a program to help eligible children across the state get the dental care they need, and to educate parents and caregivers on how to prevent dental decay,” stated Katherine Weno, D.D.S, J.D., Director of the Kansas Office of Oral Health. “Access to dental care for children with special health care needs is an issue that the Office of Oral Health and Oral Health Kansas has been working on for several years. This is very good news for Kansas families.”

GraceMed Dental Clinic in Wichita and Oral Health Kansas, as well as the Kansas Office of Oral Health and KDHE’s Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs will share $160,000 a year for the next four years. The project will provide specialty treatment for children at GraceMed Dental Clinic, and develop a statewide education program targeting parents and caregivers about the importance of oral health.

Weno said that it would take about a year for the program to set up and begin to fully operate. Kansas was one of 20 states chosen to receive federal funding to improve the oral health of children.