(HOWARD, SD) – Donors helped children in need establish lifelong habits of healthy smiles during the Smiles for Miles program held through the month of October at Horizon Health Care’s dental clinics.
“Helping children achieve healthy habits and regular care before the age of five sets them on a path of a lifetime of healthy smiles," said Michelle Scholtz, Horizon's chief dental officer. "Seeing the commitment our donors make each year in helping to fund this program is inspirational to our dental practitioners and patients by helping create general wellness for our youngest patients."
Throughout the month of October, any gift given to Smiles for Miles was matched by the South Dakota Community Foundation, up to $10,000, and Brookings-based First Bank and Trust, up to $2,500. The Smiles for Miles program funds dental care for children 0-5 including a free exam, cleaning, and fluoride treatment. This year 187 children were helped by Smiles for Miles.
Children should begin seeing a dentist within the first year of life or by the time they get their first teeth. It’s typical for 50% of children to go to kindergarten without having a previous dental visit. This results in cavities at a young age and the potential for physical, dental, and behavioral health challenges as problems in one area can quickly affect others.
Horizon dental and medical patients can participate in Smiles for Miles. Since the program began, 1,126 children have received free dental care. Horizon sees patients regardless of Medicaid or insurance status. A sliding fee scale based on income is available as well as reduced-cost prescriptions via the federal 340B program. To contribute to Smiles for Miles or to donate to the Horizon Health Foundation’s other initiatives, call 1-605-772-4553 or visit our website at www.horizonhealthfoundation.com
About the Horizon Health Foundation
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 31 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.