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The National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) recently announced that the non-profit group received a $600,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente. Now, officials from the organization say that they plan to use the funds to provide oral care to about 3,000 under-served children and teens across the nation.
Specific areas that will receive grant money include Colorado, California, Oregon, Washington, Georgia, Ohio, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, according to NASBHC.
"One of the most pressing, unmet health needs of children and adolescents that school-based health centers seek to address is oral health," said Linda Juszczak, executive director of the association. "Poor oral health has been shown to impact students' academic performance, often contributing to poor attendance, concentration problems, and low self image," she added.
About 57 percent of NASBHC's staff members provide oral health screenings and 10 percent supply general dental care. However, organization leaders said they would like to increase staff training, so that more uninsured or underprivileged children may receive extensive treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 25 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 already have tooth decay.
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