Department continues partnership aimed at teaching kids importance of dental hygiene

30-Nov-2017

The Hawaii State Department of Education and the Hawaii Dental Association are renewing their commitment to educating kids about the importance of dental hygiene. The agencies have continued their Memorandum of Agreement to promote oral health.

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) and the Hawaii Dental Association (HDA) are renewing their commitment to educating kids about the importance of dental hygiene. The agencies have continued their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to promote oral health by teaching students proper dental hygiene techniques and providing information about access to free dental health services.

HDA will conduct informational presentations in HIDOE first and second grade classes on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island through December 2017 and again from January through February 2018, which is National Children’s Dental Health Month. 

“Our goal with establishing healthcare partnerships, like this one with the Hawaii Dental Association, is to provide access to health services for our students so they can show up to school healthy, engaged and ready to learn,” said Superintendent Dr. Christina Kishimoto. “Mahalo to everyone involved in this partnership – from the dentists to our teachers – it is an important step to ensuring our students are getting proper oral healthcare.”

These efforts are also part of a national initiative from the American Dental Association to bring preventative education and dental services to underserved children, which includes 92,000 economically disadvantaged public school students in Hawaii.

“During the first year of this partnership, we had 10 dentists educate more than 700 students,” added Melissa Pavlicek, president, Hawaii Public Policy Advocates who coordinated the MOA on behalf of HDA. “We look forward to continuing the success of this partnership and expanding outreach even further this year. We encourage schools and teachers that are interested to contact Danny Cup Choy at (808) 447-1840.”

This partnership highlights the work that has been done by the department to ensure that all students come to school healthy and ready to learn. Other healthcare partners include the University of Hawaii at Manoa, which launched the “Hawaii Keiki” program with the department in 2014, and has increased school-based health services.

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: (808) 586-3232

Email: Donalyn_Dela_Cruz@hawaiidoe.org

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