Horizon Health Foundation receives grant to support Smiles for Miles

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Pictured left to right: Horizon Health Foundation Chief Philanthropy Officer Tracy Pardy, Central Electric General Manager Ken Schlimgen, Horizon Health Foundation Board Chairman Patrick Maroney, Chief Dental Officer Dr. Michelle Scholtz and Foundation Development Officer Brianna Mae Feldhaus.

(Howard, SD) — Horizon Health Foundation recently received a $2,650 grant from Central Electric Cooperative’s Operation Round-Up® program to support the Smiles for Miles program.

Smiles for Miles is hosted throughout October at eight Horizon Health Care Dental Clinics, three of which are in the Central Electric Cooperative service area – Wessington Springs, Plankinton and Howard. The program provides children ages 0 to 5 with a dental exam, cleaning, x-ray and fluoride treatment at no cost to families.

“Early dental visits are crucial to a child’s wellbeing. The sooner children begin getting regular dental checkups, the healthier their mouths will stay throughout their lives,” said Michelle Scholtz, DDS, chief dental officer at Horizon Health Care. “This investment allows us to continue removing barriers to ensure children have access to dental care through the Smiles for Miles program.”

Since Horizon Health Care started the Smiles for Miles program in 2018, 211 children in Central Electric’s service area have benefited from the program.

“We are excited to support this program,” said Tara Miller, manager of communications and Operation Round-Up coordinator at Central Electric Cooperative. “It’s encouraging to see organizations like the Horizon Health Foundation stepping up to make a meaningful difference in the communities we serve.”

The Horizon Health Foundation was established in 2016 to ensure rural health care access to those in need and provide funding for Horizon Health Care. The Horizon Health Foundation, operating in coordination with Horizon Health Care, is the duly designated fundraising arm for Horizon Health Care. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas. Horizon operates 32 community health centers in 22 communities across South Dakota.

The grant funds were raised through Operation Round-Up®, a voluntary program in which Central Electric members round their bill up to the next whole dollar. The extra cents collected flow into a charitable fund to make a direct impact in area communities. Each county in Central Electric’s territory has a representative on the board of trustees that reviews grant applications two times per year.

Central Electric Cooperative is a Touchstone Energy Cooperative that provides electric power to Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Jerauld, Sanborn, Miner, Hanson and Davison Counties. For more information about the Operation Round-Up® program, please contact Central Electric Cooperative at 1-800-477-2892 or visit