DUANESBURG — Hometown Well being Facilities, a regional medical supplier with places of work in Schenectady and Amsterdam, is looking for to type a partnership with the Duanesburg Central Faculty District that would offer college students with free preventative dental care.
The organizations signed a memorandum of understanding final month that will permit Hometown Well being Facilities to make use of the district’s two faculty buildings to host a sequence of small clinics that would offer “restricted oral care companies” for the district’s 633 college students. Hometown Well being is ready on remaining state approval earlier than continuing with the clinics, however officers are hopeful this system can start as early as January.
“We reached out to [the Duanesburg Central School District] as a result of I feel the necessity for the kids is there and since they actually don’t have dental suppliers on the market that they’ll go to,” mentioned Jana Pasquarella, director of the Dental Outreach Program for Hometown Well being Facilities.
The outreach program could be new for Duanesburg, however has existed by way of a partnership with the Schenectady Metropolis Faculty District for 50 years, in line with Pasquarella, who famous hygienists with the well being middle arrange clinics in 18 metropolis faculties all through the educational 12 months, offering dozens of appointments.
The Duanesburg program would mirror the one already in place at Schenectady faculties: mother and father could be required to fill out a permission slip for his or her baby to obtain care, and college students could be pulled out of sophistication all through the day, doubtless throughout a free interval, so as to be handled by a hygienist.
Fee could be by way of a household’s insurance coverage supplier, however could be supplied for gratis to these with out medical insurance coverage, in line with Pasquarella.
Remedy would focus solely on preventive measures and embody screenings, cleanings, molar sealants, topical fluoride therapies, in addition to schooling for college students and oldsters, in line with Pasquarella.
College students that require extra companies could be referred to certainly one of Hometown Well being Facilities dental places of work.
“It’s solely preventative work,” Pasquarella mentioned. “We are going to refer them to Hometown Well being Facilities in the event that they want therapy or to their very own personal dentist if they’ve one.”
It’s unclear what number of Duanesburg college students are with out medical insurance coverage, although 23%, or 145 college students, had been thought of “economically deprived,” in line with state Division of Schooling information from the 2020-21 educational 12 months, the latest obtainable.
Stephanie Yauchler, a nurse at Duanesburg Excessive Faculty who has been working to carry the dental clinics to the college, mentioned that even when households do have insurance coverage, entry to a physician could be troublesome, significantly in a rural space like Duanesburg.
“For a few of these households, it could be their solely likelihood to see a dentist and get their youngsters some dental cleans, dental sealants and issues that can simply enhance their general well being immensely,” she mentioned.
Hometown Well being Facilities is within the strategy of increasing its dental observe in Schenectady, the place development is underway to transform an previous Ceremony Help constructing on the nook of State Avenue and Brandywine Boulevard right into a dental clinic, an effort funded partly by a $4 million grant from Schenectady County.
“I’m very excited to have them right here,” Yauchler mentioned. “It’s a extremely good factor to get them checked out as a result of cavities may cause all types of points with a toddler’s mouth, and trigger ache and infections that will trigger a toddler to be out of college for awhile.”
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Observe him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.
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