WVU Receives Grant To Improve Oral Health For Children

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Health Sciences Center has received a $200,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to improve oral health for children.

“This funding is being given to West Virginia University as part of a coordinated effort by the Benedum Foundation to shine a spotlight on the most prevalent and often untreated childhood disease in West Virginia,” Beverly Railey Walter, vice president for programs at the Benedum Foundation said. “Nearly 84% of high school graduates in the state have had tooth decay. This is a costly and painful disease, and it is virtually unnecessary given today’s tools and technologies that make it almost 100% preventable. The Benedum Foundation is counting on WVU to play a significant role in working statewide with schools, medical and dental providers, parents, faith-based groups, policymakers and others to improve oral health “

“This grant will allow us increase our role in childhood oral health projects which will benefit West Virginia’s children now, and as they grow into adults,” said Robert M. D’Alessandri, M.D., vice president, WVU health sciences. “We are grateful to the Benedum Foundation for their contribution and their continued support of charitable activities.”

The partnership between the Health Sciences Center and the Benedum Foundation is built on the rural health platforms of RHEP/AHEC, HSTA, CARDIAC, and community partnerships across the state of West Virginia. The HSC has made a commitment with cost-sharing and state funds dedicated to these oral health activities.

The activities funded in the Benedum grant are based on important partnerships with those active in children’s health throughout West Virginia, including participation in First Lady Gayle Manchin’s Oral Health Summit in Charleston on Friday, December 8th.

- WVU -

For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
sfb: 12-06-06

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