Date Published: May 29, 2013
With the removal of fluoride from the City of Calgary’s drinking water in 2011, City Council agreed to use some of the $750,000 budget savings to support dental health for children living in poverty. Although dental health is the responsibility of the Provincial Government, Council directed that any program funding would need to demonstrate a measurable positive impact on dental health services for low income families.
The City asked for proposals from health and social service agencies and conducted an analysis based on the scope of dental health services provided, number of children that would benefit, accessibility of services, and long-term program sustainability. The proposals from the Alex Community Health Centre and CUPS were supported and the program details include:
Alex Community Health Centre for their mobile dental clinics ($585,000).
- The mobile clinic will work with schools in 17 vulnerable communities.
- Dental services to children and youth will be administered right at the schools, which will eliminate the barriers of transportation and parents having to take time off from work.
- The Alex Mobile Dental Clinic is a 40’ RV unit with a full dental clinic which provides free preventive services including sealants, topical fluoride and scaling services for children and youth in Calgary who do not have dental insurance and cannot afford dental care.
Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS) to expand their dental care services for children($165,000).
- Two days per week will be designated specifically for children.
- The children accessing the program come from the CUPS One World and the CUPS Early Childhood Development Centre programs.
- It is estimated that the program will provide services to approximately 250 children per month.
- According to CUPS, once this program has become fully established, it will be financially self sufficient.
CUPS and the Alex will report annually to Council with details on the number of children served, the types of services provided, and a detailed financial statement of the City grant funds.