Monday, August 12, 2013

Healthy Acadia & Partners Offer Grants to Increase Access to Oral Health

Contact: Elsie Flemings, Healthy Acadia

Healthy Acadia & Partners Offer Grants to Increase Access to Oral Health”

Healthy Acadia and the Downeast Community Transformation Collaborative are pleased to offer competitive grants to organizations to increase access to oral healthcare for children in Hancock and Washington Counties. Non-profit organizations as well as private practices are eligible to apply, and they must provide dental screening, oral health education, and dental sealants to children through a school-based or school-linked program, in order to bring about lasting changes to children’s oral health.

Oral health is a critical part of the overall health of children and adults, and these grant opportunities can make a significant difference in the health of our community members,” said Elsie Flemings, Community Relations & Development Director for Healthy Acadia. “Lack of preventive care can lead to serious dental disease, causing significant distress, poor physical health and high treatment costs. 43.2% of adults in Washington and Hancock Counties have tooth loss due to gum disease or tooth decay. Increasing access to oral health education and services, including dental sealants, reduces tooth decay and enhances overall health.”

Grants of up to $10,000 are available. Organizations, including private dental practices and non-profit organizations, with the ability to serve children in regions of Maine’s Washington and Hancock Counties are eligible to apply. Oral Health Access projects must include delivery of dental screening, delivery of oral health education, and delivery of dental sealants to children through a school-based or school-linked program.

School-based oral health programs are conducted entirely in school settings, while school-linked programs are conducted partially in schools (e.g. patient selection or parental permission), but would generally provide the oral care at private dental practices or other clinics outside of schools. For this grant opportunity, Early Childhood Education Centers are considered “schools,” along with schools serving students between kindergarten and twelfth grade.

Grant applications must be sent electronically or by mail by Friday, September 13, 2013. Awards will be announced by October 4, 2013. For more information or to receive an application, please contact Sandie Dubay at 288-5331 or, or visit

The Downeast Community Transformation Collaborative is coordinated by Healthy Acadia, in partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribal Council at Indian Township, Washington County-One Community, Washington County Council of Governments, the Hancock County Planning Commission, and the University of New England. The Collaborative was awarded a two-year Community Transformation Grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve health and reduce chronic disease throughout Washington and Hancock Counties.

Through the Collaborative, Healthy Acadia and partners are implementing a broad range of strategies to bring about lasting improvements in the health of communities across Washington and Hancock Counties. Initiatives include: increasing the number of children receiving preventive oral exams, education and treatment, increasing access to preventive health services, promoting active community environments, increasing farm-to-school and healthy food experiences in schools, working with schools to implement Coordinated School Health programs, and increasing access to nutritious food among people experiencing low income.

Healthy Acadia is a non-profit community health coalition serving the Downeast-Acadia region and is a Healthy Maine Partnership. For more information, please visit