(BROOKINGS, SD) – Horizon Health Foundation recently received a $2,500 donation from First Bank & Trust in Brookings, South Dakota, to support Horizon Health Care’s Smiles for Miles program.
By the time children reach kindergarten, over 40% have cavities and 50% have never seen a dentist. Seeing a need for pediatric dental care in rural areas, Horizon piloted a children’s oral health campaign, “Smiles for Miles,” in 2018. The Smiles for Miles program is a month-long promotion held at Horizon dental clinics, allowing children ages 0-5 to receive a free dental exam, cleaning, and fluoride treatment during the month of October.
“Early dental visits can help prevent a child from having future oral problems,” said Michelle Scholtz, Chief Dental Officer at Horizon Health Care. “The Smiles for Miles program puts children on a path toward oral wellness and development by encouraging regular dentist checkups, even at a young age.”
All eight Horizon locations participate in the promotion, which includes clinics at Martin, Faith, Wessington Springs, Plankinton, De Smet, Howard, Yankton, and Alcester. Patients from Horizon’s other 14 clinic sites and the surrounding communities also participate in the program. Since the program’s conception, 769 children have received free dental care.
“The service Smiles for Miles provides is invaluable to the children in our area,” said Tom Fishback, market president at First Bank & Trust. “Setting these kids up with quality oral health from the start translates into positive results for not only their future but also their family’s and community’s futures. That’s an impact we certainly want to support.”
Through the Smiles for Miles program, Horizon is providing access to dental care in rural areas and reducing the risk of tooth decay in young children.
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. Horizon Health Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, seeks through responsible activities to encourage and derive sustaining gift support from current and former patients and interested friends, including corporate entities. The Horizon Health Foundation, operating in coordination with Horizon Health Care, is the duly designated fundraising arm for Horizon Health Care. In the broadest sense, the purpose of the Foundation is to create an awareness of the financial needs of Horizon Health Care, which are not provided by patient charges and to systematically implement plans by which dollar needs can be met.
About Horizon Health Care
For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and behavioral health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. 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 through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information, please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.