Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation Brings Smiles to Rochester's Children
July 14, 1999
The Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation (DMJF) has awarded $250,000 to the University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center (UR EDC) to purchase a third Smilemobile to expand the community outreach dental program. This project provides preventive and primary dental care to thousands of under served school-age children in Rochester and its neighboring rural counties.
Roger L. Gardner, president of the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation, said, "By providing this grant, the foundation recognizes the invaluable service provided by EDC's Community Dentistry Program, under the leadership of Dr. Buddhi Shrestha, in providing dental care to Rochester's needy children."
Shrestha, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., director of Community Dentistry said, "Our program is privileged to receive this grant, which is the largest gift that the foundation has given to any one organization. The addition of a third Smilemobile will allow us to provide much needed dental care services to an additional 1200 children who otherwise would not receive care." Shrestha added, "During the school year, each Smilemobile travels to Rochester's inner-city schools to primarily treat Medicaid-eligible and Child Health Plus children who do not have dentists of their own. During the summer, we are planning to transport the new Smilemobile to one more distant rural community, where Medicaid and Child Health Plus children have least access to dental care."
"The Smilemobiles are a vital part of Eastman Dental Center's community outreach program," said the Center's director, Cyril Meyerowitz, D.D.S. "This grant supports our continuing effort to reach out to provide preventative and basic dental care and good oral health education to the young."
Smilemobiles are fully equipped dental trailer vans; each staffed with a dentist, hygienist, dental assistant and a clinic coordinator. The current Smilemobiles provide dental services to children in 11 elementary city schools. These vans are used during the summer to treat children in Corning and Batavia.
In 1998, the Community Dentistry Program, in collaboration with various school districts, county health departments and county department of social services, cared for 6,513 children from Rochester and five neighboring rural counties including: Livingston, Steuben, Wyoming, Genesee, and Orleans County. With the addition of Smilemobile III, and with the recently opened dental clinics at the Downtown Health Care Center and Family Learning Center, the program expects to serve over 9,000 children during the 1999-2000 school year.