Dental care is rolling out to students in Johnston County Public Schools via a million dollar mobile dental care unit through CommWell Health’s Kids in School Health Initiative and Partnership (KINSHIP).
The Community Mobile Dental Clinic Program KINSHIP was officially opened at Four Oaks Elementary on Oct. 25. The mobile clinic will provide JCPS students access to dental care at their school.
“KINSHIP was developed six years ago as a vision to bring mobile dental care to schools for children who would otherwise be challenged to go to the dentist,” said Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp.
Dental services will include primary oral health services, such as dental examinations, cleanings, x-rays, fluoride treatments, sealants, dental hygiene instructions, restorations, extractions, and stainless steel crowns. Referrals will be made for advanced dental care at one of CommWell Health’s dental practice locations or another dental specialist as determined appropriate by the treating dentist.
The mobile dentist office is currently slated to visit students at Four Oaks Elementary, Four Oaks Middle, Meadow School, Polenta Elementary, Selma Elementary, Smithfield-Selma High, South Johnston High, and West Smithfield Elementary. CommWell Health representatives said care could eventually be provided at all schools, but they want to be sure to address those with the largest need first.
“It’s a dentist office on wheels. Most anything they can do at a brick and mortar dentist, they can do right here,” said Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Renfrow. “We’re glad we’re part of this collaborative effort.”
CommWell Health purchased the million dollar mobile clinic with the assistance of a $500,000 grant, according to Tripp.
“This will benefit Johnston County students because students may not always have an opportunity to receive dental care,” said Tripp. “Children can’t learn if they’re hurting. We’re so happy that we’ll be accessible to the children and hopefully help them get more A’s in school,” said Tripp.
Tripp added that CommWell Health plans to assess the demand for services in Johnston County Public Schools, and they will provide a report card to the Board of Education on the data and the number of students who are impacted by the mobile care unit.
“A lot of the times people put off going to the dentist because they’re so busy and preoccupied. This will minimize distraction, so it doesn’t impede student learning, and we’re partnering with families as well,” said Renfrow. “Any time we can help our parents put our students in a position to be successful, it’s our responsibility to do it. We made that happen today.”
Four Oaks Elementary students (from left) Katie Stanley, Victoria Doremus, Beth Stanley, and Carla Florido sit in the waiting area of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit. Sitting with the students is CommWell Health representative Cheryl Stanley (right).
Standing together at the opening of the CommWell Health dental mobile unit (from left) are Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten, Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp, Four Oaks Elementary Principal Kathy Parrish, and JCPS Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow.
Joining hands to cut the ribbon for the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit (from left) are Four Oaks Elementary Principal Kathy Parrish, JCPS Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow, and Chief Executive Officer for CommWell Health Pamela Tripp. Standing with them to the far left is Johnston County Board of Education Chairman Mike Wooten.
A crowd of Four Oaks Elementary students and staff, along with several JCPS administrators and CommWell Health representatives, gather for the ribbon cutting of the new CommWell Health dental mobile unit.
Living in Sampson County, I always heard positive things about CommWell Health from employees that worked there and from their patients. All of us who have a full time job know that we spend more time at work than we do with our own families. I always felt positive vibes from CommWell Health. There’s a sense of camaraderie and a family connectedness among the employees. That meant a lot to me, and I wanted to be a part of that. Over the years, I have seen CommWell grow tremendously; I was determined to be a proud CommWell Health colleague that helped the organization soar to greater heights!