WVU School of Dentistry receives March of Dimes grant

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Dentistry has received a grant from the March of Dimes to improve the oral health of women of childbearing age.

The March of Dimes awarded the WVU School of Dentistry $11,990 to help reduce the risk of early labor and delivery by helping teach healthcare providers, both dental and nondental, to learn ways to implement best practices involving perinatal oral health.

"We are very thankful to receive funds from the March of Dimes," said Richard Meckstroth, D.D.S., chair of Dental Practice and Rural Health at the WVU School of Dentistry. "The grant will allow us to provide continuing education and best-practices guidelines on integrating oral health risk assessment and referral into routine prenatal and early well-child care. This represents a big step toward improving the overall standard of care and improving access to care for all women of childbearing age." 

The program will build on a similar educational program funded by March of Dimes in New York and will target two of the most prominent chronic oral conditions of West Virginia women – periodontal disease and dental cavities. 

The March of Dimes was founded in 1938 to search for a cure for polio.  Its ongoing mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The mission is carried out through research, community services, education and advocacy to save babies' lives. March of Dimes researchers, volunteers, educators, outreach workers and advocates work together to give all babies a fighting chance against the threats to their health: prematurity, birth defects and low birth weight.

For more information about the School of Dentistry's continuing education program, please call 304-293-5912.

For more information about the School of Dentistry see http://www.hsc.wvu.edu/sod/


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
rr: 07-28-08

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