Monday, June 14, 2010

Dental Access Now! Seeks Your Help in Advocating for Dental Care Access for All

 "Dental health is Ohio's top unmet health need, with access to affordable care beyond the reach of too many Ohio residents. Ohio has 56 federally designated dental health professional shortage areas, mostly due to inadequate numbers of dentists who serve rural and low-income patients.

The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF) has joined Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN) of Ohio and other organizations throughout the state to form Dental Access Now!, a state-wide response to the dental crisis facing Ohio.

The dental care shortage impacts the most vulnerable the hardest:

Children and families of color
-Twenty five percent of Ohio third graders have untreated cavities;
-Only 50% of Black and Hispanic residents have had a dental visit in the past year, compared to more than 60% of non-Hispanic white Ohio residents.

In Appalachian counties and rural Ohio

-Just over half of Appalachian residents and only sixty percent of rural Ohioans had a dental visit in the past year.

Persons with disabilities

-Dental care is one of the most needed services for people with disabilities, because of difficulties in finding providers who can meet their needs and funding limitations in Medicaid.

The undereducated poor

-Eighty percent of Ohio adults with a college degree had a dental visit in the past year. In the same timeframe, only twenty-five percent of those with no high school diploma visited a dentist.

OASHF needs your help! We are calling for individual or family stories of people who are suffering or have suffered with a dental issue."  Click on this link to download a story bank form and submit your story.  

Source:  Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks (OASHF)

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