5K supports dental care, keeps Cass County little ones smiling

Dr. Michael McCunniff volunteers at a dental screening at Gladden Elementary in Belton.

Dr. Michael McCunniff volunteers at a dental screening at Gladden Elementary in Belton.

Staying in the midst of a pandemic is not standing in the way of a key fundraising celebration for the Cass Local community Well being Foundation. The business, which delivers dental treatment for little ones on Medicaid or who are uninsured, has created its annual 5K run/stroll virtual this yr.

The fundraiser, now in its 25th year, normally brings in about $75,000 each yr to aid assist two dental clinics, school dental screenings and a scholarship program.

An online broadcast beginning at 8 a.m. Aug. 29 will kick off everyone’s run or stroll in their have neighborhoods. Walkers can register for no cost, whilst the basis encourages donations.

Runners have a $35 cost and can pick up their T-shirt, racing bib and finisher’s medal from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Belton Regional Health-related Center. To sign up later than Aug. 27, call 816-276-4218.

It’s been nine several years given that the basis opened its very first dental clinic in Belton and 5 given that the 2nd one opened in Harrisonville. Between the two, 3,320 young children and younger grownups up to age 20 received both preventative and unexpected emergency dental care in Cass County final yr.

About 97% of the young children who occur to the clinics are included by Medicaid in Missouri, but when the basis started out its clinic, no dentists in Cass County have been accepting Medicaid individuals.

Cynthia Randazzo, president and CEO of the foundation, said that’s owing to minimal reimbursement fees from Medicaid. The foundation’s clinics only get 50 percent their revenue from Medicaid. The relaxation will come from donations and grants.

At the commencing, “25 per cent of the young children walking by our doorways experienced decay. We phone it active rampant decay. They had cavities on seven or extra teeth,” Randazzo stated.

Now that they have accessibility to normal cleanings, she explained, young ones are coming back again for their typical appointments with nutritious enamel.

“We’re undertaking a good deal of oral cleanliness education as perfectly, conversing about the worth of brushing 2 times a working day and having healthful,” she said. “Our mission is to empower the group as a result of enhanced health and fitness.”

In addition to the clinics, the basis also associates with local schools in Belton and Grandview to deliver dental screenings and fluoride varnish therapies at college buildings. There are no profits requirements to qualify for individuals.

Past calendar year, the team screened 4,497 young children at educational facilities, with 2,885 young children getting fluoride varnish. Randazzo reported 55 of the youngsters had urgent requires and 918 necessary some further oral treatment.

Area dentists, hygienists and dental pupils volunteer to support with school screenings. Dad and mom can usually indicator up their small children to participate for the duration of college enrollment.

Prior to the pandemic, the team had presently begun seeking into teledentistry, wherever the hygienist would go to the university, do screenings and take X-rays. Immediately after that, the hygienist would transmit the effects electronically to the dentist again at the clinic, who would ascertain if the boy or girl needed to occur to the clinic for even further treatment.

This lets the dentist to continue to be at the clinic and see other people that day and keeps moms and dads from possessing to take time off get the job done to bring young children in to the clinic unless they really need to do so.

So significantly, the basis has gotten grants from the Missouri Office of Wellbeing and Senior Companies, the Achieve Healthcare Basis and Delta Dental of Missouri to guidance the teledentistry pilot program.

While it was set to begin this tumble at two elementary universities in the Belton University District, the pandemic could possibly preserve it on hold for a bit.

“Student health is main in becoming capable to teach them. If young ones are not nicely or they’re in ache from toothaches, they really do not study nicely,” stated Sara Jones, assistant superintendent for university student companies in Belton.

“It’s a acquire-acquire for us,” she stated of the plan, which allows them to refer people to products and services that assistance small children remain healthier.

The basis also provides scholarships for Cass County students pursuing health treatment careers, primarily nursing. In 2020, they awarded 27 scholarships totaling $32,750 the prior year the basis gave out 40 scholarships with an all round benefit of $52,250.

For more info on the Aug. 29 digital race, visit casscommunityhealth.org/5k/ceremony.