CHARLESTON, SC – March 15, 2011 – The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina has awarded $50,000 to Welvista to support the restructuring and revitalizing of its Healthy Smiles Dental Clinics. The Healthy Smiles Dental Clinics, located in Allendale, Dillon, Manning and Summerton, serve thousands of uninsured and underinsured school-age children that do not have a provider for oral health issues.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, along with The Duke Endowment, Fullerton Foundation and other donors, helped establish the four dental clinics in 2001. The dental clinics are located near schools in rural poverty areas of South Carolina, and focus on treating the catastrophic oral health problems that exist with school-age children in these communities.
“Oral health continues to be a serious and chronic problem in many poor communities throughout South Carolina. The Healthy Smiles Dental Clinics have made a positive difference in these communities and the lives of the children,” said Tom Keith, president of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. “These funds will allow the clinics to get beyond their short-term challenges and implement the new viable model for success and sustainability beginning in August with the 2011-2012 school year.”
Welvista, a private-public partnership of non-governmental health care intervention, operates a successful model committed to improving health and wellness for the uninsured and underinsured by providing access to prescription medications and pediatric dental services. Their Healthy Smiles Dental Clinics focus on prevention and early intervention based on the premise that a child must be healthy in order to be ready to learn. Through a public/private partnership, children from low-income families in rural communities throughout South Carolina can receive effective oral health care services.
About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina, established in 1996, is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System. The Foundation is committed to addressing the needs of the poor and underserved in all 46 South Carolina counties, and strategically uses resources to reduce poverty through action, advocacy and leadership.