Hawaii Selected for Establishment of Dental Network for Hawaii's Needy Keiki

May 20, 2009 04:22 PM

HONOLULU – May 20, 2009, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and The Office of Head Start (OHS) announced today that Hawaii is one of 12 states to be awarded part of a five-year, multi-million dollar contract to establish a network of dentists to combat tooth decay, the #1 health problem facing Head Start (HS) children. The program establishes a "dental home" to see that each child's oral health care is delivered in a comprehensive, ongoing, accessible, coordinated, family-centered way by a dentist. In Hawaii, children suffer from the highest rates of tooth decay in the nation, double the rates seen among children living on the Mainland.

"The challenge which lies before us is to make quality oral health care a standard for all children and a priority for all parents," said Dr. Beverly Largent, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. "With the establishment of these comprehensive dental homes, we will start to see a huge improvement in the oral health of these children - a benefit they will take with them well into adulthood."

The Head Start program and Early Head Start (EHS) program in Hawaii serves newborn children through age five and their parents to provide a "head start" for school success. Hawaii Head Start is funded to serve 2,672 low-income preschoolers and 327 infants and toddlers. The Kalihi-based PACT HS/EHS program offers early education classes, parent involvement, and health and social services for its families.

Later this week, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) hosts its 62nd Annual Session at the Hawaii Convention Center from May 21-24, 2009. More than 4,500 attendees from all over the world will hear renowned experts on children’s oral health care and related, timely issues.

Attached Document(s): Click here to download the press release.


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