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S.D. Dental Smiles Mobile sees 68 youngsters in April

Posted: Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Standing next to the dental bus, are from left, Dr. Charles Hoffman, Kris Nichols, Jen Lauronson, Brenda Durst and Sunny Maldenado. In the next photo are Stacey Gavin, Alycia Christopherson, Patale Sheel and Kara Rasmussen. Dr. Gary Bjerrum, full time dentist with the dental bus, is not pictured. PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED

The S.D. Dental Smiles Mobile was in Huron the week of April 22-26, 2013.  There were 68 people ages 2 through 21 that attended dental appointments, with a total of $44,570 worth of dental work completed.

A collaborative effort on the part of Huron School District, United Way and Kiwanis was a huge success.

United Way invests $5,000 to bring two dental busses to our community each year.  Kiwanis organization offers support during the time the bus is in Huron. The Huron School District and many staff work tirelessly to make sure the dental bus is a success.  “This is a huge return on the United Way investment,” said United Way Student Board Member, Lexy Chase. 

Linda Eck, Huron school district home liaison, has organized the Dental Bus for the last three years.  With the help of district nurses, teachers, secretaries and social workers she puts in countless hours during the four weeks before the bus comes, completing and organizing requests and referrals made for dental care. 

The process is fairly straight forward and easy for the families who speak English. For the families who speak English as a second language, the application process is much longer. A district home liaison or social worker will make contact with the parent through an interpreter and then set up a time to complete the application together. Each application can take several hours if you count the phone calls and driving time of the family or home liaison.

Eck spends the entire week that the bus is in Huron  making sure that students arrive on time and return to class safely.  She also uses interpreters to relay any information to the parents that is necessary. 

Eck explained, “I am amazed every year at the amount of work that is done on the bus.  Without the bus that dental care may otherwise not be done.”

Rita Baszler, a school nurse, is pleased with the care given on the bus. She added, “One student in my school had to return to the bus every day it was here. She spent a total of 4 hours in the dental chair receiving services. She has missed 19 days of school due to illness this year.  It makes me realize just how much infection in our teeth can cause illness in other parts of our body. She is looking forward to a happy healthy school year next year.”

Eck says a big thanks to the Vocational Staff for accommodating their building and parking space for the week.

For the complete article see the 05-15-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 05-15-2013 paper.

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