Oconto Falls – Children with complex dental needs and who are uninsured or underinsured will now have greater access to care thanks to a new collaboration between HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls and the Brown County-based Oral Health Partnership (OHP).
Oral Health Partnership, a nonprofit founded in Green Bay in 2005, provides underserved children living in Brown County and surrounding counties access to preventive, restorative and emergency dental services at no cost. It offers a school-based dental care program, three clinic locations throughout Green Bay, and partners with three Green Bay hospitals – including HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center – to provide treatment for complex dental conditions that require an operating room setting.
“This year, OHP is on track to serve more than 10,000 children and accommodate more than 20,000 dental appointments,” said Michael Schwartz, Executive Director at OHP. “The addition of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital to our partnership allows us to treat more children in need of hospital-based care. We are immensely grateful for their partnership, as well as the continued partnership of HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s.”
In early 2018, the OHP wait list for those in need of hospital-based dental care was at more than 250 children. The recent addition of HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital as an OHP partner has helped to reduce the current waiting list to approximately 50 children.
“Our hospital’s vision is to provide health, healing and hope to all we serve, and we are proud to join our sister-hospitals in Green Bay to assist the OHP in providing a service that is greatly needed for underserved children,” said Chris Brabant, President and CEO at HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital. “Our partnership with OHP also means that children who live in our rural, northern communities and in need of this type of care can now access it closer to home.”
As an OHP partner, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital provides operating room space and the assistance of its surgical staff to OHP physicians at no cost to OHP or the patient. The nonprofit hospital also obtained a grant from Delta Dental of Wisconsin to purchase the surgical instruments for OHP physicians to perform the necessary procedures. Procedures may include the treatment of multiple cavities in young children, abscessed teeth and/or teeth extraction.
“In some cases, these complex dental conditions can be life-threatening, and that is why increasing access to this type of care is so important,” said Schwartz.
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital also provides the services of Child Life Specialists for each child that comes to the hospital to have a dental procedure. Child Life Specialists are specially trained in helping put children who may be anxious about their procedure at ease.
Oral Health Partnership serves children ages 0 to 19. Those interested in learning more can call (920) 965-0831 or visit www.smilegb.org. Underinsured or uninsured adults in need of dental care may contact the N.E.W. Dental Clinic at (920) 272-9300.
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
Public Relations Coordinator
Oral Health Partnership
About HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital
HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital serves Oconto Falls and the surrounding communities as a federally-designated critical access hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, urgent care, general, vascular and orthopedic surgical services, inpatient and outpatient surgical and diagnostic services, rehabilitation, oncology outpatient clinic and women’s care. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital, in affiliation with Prevea Health, has six regional health center locations in Gillett, Lena, Mountain, Oconto, Oconto Falls and Suring. HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital Pharmacies are located in Gillett and Oconto Falls. Founded in 1921 as Community Memorial Hospital, in 2014, HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital became the fourteenth hospital in Hospital Sisters Health System. As an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System, we draw on the history of St. Francis of Assisi as we move to continue serving the health care needs of our area in Christ’s healing ministry, caring for all people. For more information about St. Clare, visit www.stclarememorial.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.
About Oral Health Partnership
Oral Health Partnership, OHP, is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization providing dental services and education to children from birth to 19th birthday that are uninsured and with limited resources, or on medical assistance without access to a provider. OHP’s team of paid, licensed dental professionals treated 9,552 children in 2018. Typical services include exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, fluoride varnishes, fillings, and education. OHP operates three clinics, a traveling school-based program, and a hospital services partnership for children needing advanced care. Without OHP, most of these children would not have access to dental care.