Karen Felty

Congratulations to Karen Felty, RDH, APDH

December 2016 was an exciting month for Karen Felty, RDH, APDH as she learned she had been awarded a $2,500 grant for the First Teeth First Program of Dignity Health, Chandler Regional Medical Center. Karen applied for a community service grant from the ADHA Institute for Oral Health and the Wrigley Company Foundation. It was her first time writing and applying for a grant, and her hard work paid off.

The current funding for First Teeth First comes from First Things First and designates services for children 0-5 years of age and pregnant women. The services provided are oral screenings, fluoride varnish treatments, education, and referrals. If older children were part of the family, they would be excluded from these services. This sends a message that oral health is not important for the older children.

Expanding the capacity to offer oral screenings and fluoride varnish to children older than age five enables the program to promote the message that oral health is important for the entire family. One of the primary benefits is the ability to educate parents. Screening older children opens the door for conversation about at-home behaviors that impact oral health and provide them with the knowledge and skills to change at home behavior and prevent caries in their younger children.

Karen has certainly demonstrated that the program is in harmony with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) Institute for Oral Health mission and vision to improve the public’s oral health and to provide oral health education with strong preventive components.