The Ohio State University to Host the 2018 Give Kids A Smile® National Kickoff
Student-led initiative to provide free oral health services to hundreds of underserved kids
COLUMBUS, Ohio, February 1, 2018 — The Ohio State University College of Dentistry announced that it will provide free oral health care to hundreds of local children in need tomorrow as the host of the ADA Foundation’s 2018 Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program national kickoff event. Kids participating in Ohio State’s student-led initiative will receive free dental exams, cleanings, extractions, fillings, crowns, and education on how to maintain good oral health.
“This is the 12th Give Kids A Smile day at the College of Dentistry and we’re pleased to be the site of the national kickoff,” said Patrick M. Lloyd, dean of the College of Dentistry. “This event has important and positive outcomes for everyone involved. Parents are able to secure dental care for their children when they might not otherwise be able to afford that care; our students, who plan the day, begin to consider hosting Give Kids A Smile events in their own practices when they graduate; and the children have the opportunity for brighter futures because they are not hindered by low self-esteem due to poor oral health.”
More than 5.5 million children have received free oral health services through Give Kids A Smile since the program’s inception in 2003. In 2018 alone, nearly 300,000 children in need across the U.S. will receive free oral health services including oral health education, screening, preventive care, and restorative treatment from 6,500 volunteer dentists and 23,000 other dental team and community volunteers during more than 1,300 GKAS events. GKAS events range from those similar to Ohio State’s which provide services to hundreds of children in a day, to individual dentists providing pro-bono oral health services and a dental home to one or several children under the GKAS banner. The Ohio Dental Association helps GKAS program coordinators plan and promote their events; in 15 years of GKAS, Ohio dental volunteers have provided more than $13.5 million in dental care to more than 250,000 underserved children.
The Ohio State University to Host the 2018 Give Kids A Smile® National Kickoff. Tweet
“Give Kids A Smile is first and foremost about impact,” said William R. Calnon, D.D.S., president of the ADA Foundation. “Ohio State’s 2018 Give Kids A Smile program is a perfect example of our profession coming together, and bringing together others who have valuable skills and talents to share, to generate better health outcomes for kids in need. We admire the passion that the Ohio State team brings to the GKAS program.”
“For many kids, a Give Kids A Smile event is their first real dental experience, and we want it to be a great first experience for them so that taking care of their smiles becomes a lifelong habit,” said Joseph P. Crowley, D.D.S., president of the American Dental Association. “Kids with poor oral health status are almost three times as likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Our goal is to provide the care they need and put them on a path to a lifetime of good health so they can succeed and make their dreams reality.”
The program would not be possible without the support of its generous sponsors, including Henry Schein, Inc., which has served as the program’s official products sponsor since 2003. Since the program's inception, Henry Schein, together with its supplier partners, has donated more than $16 million in oral health care products used to provide free care to millions of participating children. Henry Schein provided an additional donation of oral health supplies to Ohio State worth more than $18,000 in recognition of its role as host of this year’s national kickoff event.
“We at Henry Schein are pleased to join our supplier partners in support of the Give Kids A Smile program and the thousands of oral health professionals who volunteer their time and talent in service to improving the oral health of our nation’s children,” said Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein. “This program has helped set millions of children on the path to a lifetime of good oral health, which contributes to overall health, and we look forward to continuing our part to ‘help health happen’ for millions more.”
Ohio State has held GKAS events twice annually since 2012, providing care for more than 1,100 children throughout Ohio and providing more than $318,000 in treatments.
For more information about how Give Kids A Smile programs are organized across the country, please visit ADAFoundation.org/gkas. For more information about Give Kids A Smile programs taking place in your area, please call Give Kids A Smile at 844.490.GKAS (4527) or contact your state or local dental association. The ADA Foundation’s website offers additional resources to help find free or reduced-cost dental care for children.
Give Kids A Smile is also the anchor event of the ADA’s National Children’s Dental Health Month. To learn about mouth healthy habits, please visit MouthHealthy.org, which features fun quizzes, slideshows, videos and articles about dental health topics for every age and stage of life.
Editor’s Note: Photos available upon request following the event. Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn
About the ADA Foundation
As dentistry's premier philanthropic and charitable organization, the ADA Foundation is a catalyst for uniting people and organizations to invest in better oral health for all, together. The ADA Foundation annually provides more than $2 million in grants, scholarships, awards, and facilitated in-kind product donations to programs that are in alignment with the organization’s efforts to advance oral health, expand access to dental care, and drive game-changing research. As part of these efforts, the ADA Foundation oversees the Give Kids A Smile® program and also oversees the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland (formerly the Paffenbarger Research Center). For more information about the ADA Foundation, visit www.adafoundation.org.
About The Ohio State University College of Dentistry
The College of Dentistry is the fourth largest public dental school in the United States and consists of ten academic divisions representing all major dental specialties. The divisions offer both patient care services and academic programs, allowing dentists to train as specialists. The college’s Outreach and Engagement activities include over 32 outreach sites, which allow fourth-year dental students to provide dental care to underserved Ohioans in counties across the state. The College of Dentistry provides comprehensive patient care in an unparalleled learning environment with internationally recognized faculty and a supportive network of alumni and friends. For more information about the College of Dentistry, visit www.dentistry.osu.edu.
The Ohio State University College of Dentistry