|MAY, 14 2012 By MARY DALY
Klamath Falls, located in Klamath County in Southern Oregon just a half hour away from the Oregon-California border, is known as Oregon's City of Sunshine; and that it was! In addition to the sun in the sky, Klamath Falls is home of the Kingsley Field Oregon Air National Guard Base, where we saw and heard many jets zooming around.
This week the Tooth Taxi provided treatment to the students at Fairview Elementary School. Although there are several schools in the district, we were informed that Fairview has the highest percentage (over 90%) of students on reduced lunch meal plans. From our initial screenings, there is an apparent dental need at this elementary school. Many of these students qualified for Oregon Health Plan benefits, and many dental offices and clinics in the community accept OHP patients, but why the high dental need? This community is a prime example of the amount of need due to the lack of awareness and dental education, rather than the lack of accessibility. Without education, providing dental treatment only takes care of half the issue.
This week Dr. Thomas Tucker (DFO Board member and Klamath Falls School District Board member) joined us with his entire office, Dr. Theresa Tucker, and Dr. Daniel Gailis, along with assistants Cindy Young, Deanna Ladner, and Christina Williams. With their help this week, we were able to provide almost $20,000 dollars worth of services to students at Fairview. Thank you!
Our treatment also ran exceptionally smoothly with the hard work and dedication from parent volunteer and community nurse, Carol Usher. In addition to her night shift nurse career and taking care of her three children, Carol has helped the school with all the Tooth Taxi paperwork and helped the Tooth Taxi staff with coordinating students to and from their appointments. Thank you so much!
Charlie LaTourette, executive director of the Dental Foundation of Oregon, visited us in Klamath Falls with Bob Kingzett, Executive Director of Jeld-Wen Foundation located in Klamath Falls.
Assistant Catherine Johnson's sister, Linda Robertson, a school teacher and husband Don Robertson, came to visit from Medford.
Many interested teachers visited our van to see the care their students were receiving. Thanks to the teachers for all they do!
From the kid gallery:
"I use that timer, one time I put myself to sleep with that."
"The worst tooth I have is the one back there, I can't drink cold things. You should pull that out!" -3rd grader
"But you don't have a cavity there," Dr. McLeod
"Well then up here,"- 3rd grader says as he points to a different tooth
"We're going to get that tooth sleepy," Dr. McLeod
"I'm already sleepy!" – kindergartner
55% of students screened needed treatment
45% of students screened needed no treatment.
Fairview Elementary School, Klamath Falls, May 14 - May 17, 2012
49 students screened
115 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
40 appointments in the van
$19,190 value of free dental services provided
Tooth Taxi, September 4, 2008- May 17, 2012
11,543 students screened
10,988 students received oral hygiene education in the classroom
5,089 students treated in the van
$3,082,966 value of free dental services provided