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New dental grants for Kiwis who need it most

For immediate release

3 October 2016

New dental grants give Kiwis who need it most something to smile about

The Wrigley Company Foundation along with the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) today announced the recipients of US$23,00o worth of dental grants to help make a difference to the lives of young and vulnerable Kiwis.


This year, nine programmes across New Zealand and the Pacific have been awarded community service grants and a portion of the total grant fund.

The New Zealand programmes are aimed at assisting the most high-risk and underserviced groups within our communities who are less likely to maintain a good standard of oral health. Children from low income families, Maori and Pacific Island communities, and the physically disabled are among those most at risk.

This year, two Pacific Region Dental Aid Grants will see teams of dentists visit Samoa and Fiji to provide volunteer dental treatments as well as oral health education to communities around Motootua Island Samoa and school children in Taveuni Island Fiji.

CEO of the New Zealand Dental Association, Dr David Crum says, “The Wrigley Company Foundation NZDA Community Service Grants support dentists across the country who, as members of a profession, volunteer their time and services to assist some of the most at risk communities here and in the Pacific.

“The grants are vitally important to help dental professionals develop new programmes and expand existing community service work.”

General Manager Wrigley Pacific, Patrick Gantier says, “Wrigley’s Extra Oral Healthcare Program operates in 47 countries worldwide, where initiatives such as the Community Service Grants support communities where oral care support is needed most.

“Over the past five years, the grant funding has greatly assisted hard working volunteers to help bridge the gap in access to oral care services and dental education across New Zealand and the Pacific.”

In 2012, a partnership between the Wrigley Company Foundation and the NZDA was formed to improve the reach and quality of dental treatment to at-risk communities. The programme provides funding to volunteer dentists and teams of allied dental professionals to cover the purchase of supplies, treatments and other expenses, to develop new and expand existing oral health community service projects.

The grants awarded this year include one US$8,000 Principles in Action Grant, one US$5,000 Principles in Action Grant, one US$3,500 Pacific Region Dental Aid Grant as well as one US$1,500 Pacific Region Dental Aid Grant, and five US$1,000 Community Service Grants.

ENDS

2016 Community Service Grant recipients

Principles in Action Grant (US$8,000)

Downtown City Mission Dental Service
Wellington’s Downtown Community Ministry opened its Dental Service earlier this year in response to unmet needs of vulnerable people in the region.

Grant funding will enable a team of 10 oral healthcare professionals to continue treatment of marginalised people in the area, who receive low cost dental assistance. Already a success, 45 patients treated to date report significant improvement in their quality of life as a result of the service.

This underserviced community will receive world class oral healthcare treatment and education as a result of this grant, with tooth brushing packs provided to encourage patients to take better care of their teeth and gums.

The committed team behind the Downtown Community Ministry Dental Service assess patient needs based on the Maori philosophy of hauora, or individual spiritual wellbeing, which takes a holistic approach to improving quality of life overall – oral healthcare is just one aspect.

Educating patients on the importance of dental hygiene as part of an overall treatment plan will ensure behavioural changes in this community, with tangible impacts on living quality beyond the conclusion of treatment.

The Dental Service team hopes that success of the programme will see its continuation beyond 2016, with basic dental treatment the focus of current grant funding.

Principles in Action Grant (US$5,000)

River Road’s Revive a Smile community dental project

This grant helps fund a continuing project to promote ongoing dental health education and treatment for vulnerable groups in the Waikato community, particularly those who are homeless, the elderly and victims of domestic violence.

Founded in 2012, the project aims to reduce oral healthcare disparities experienced by kiwis in hardship.

Specifically, dental treatment and education will be provided as a result of the funding.

A dozen dental volunteers will work to treat as many patients as time would allow with an estimated at least 50 procedures performed. A full examination will be conducted, including x-rays, with an initial emphasis on pain relief. Assistance with follow up appointments and further treatment if needed will also be provided.

Now in its fifth year, the programme demonstrates how a community coming together can transform the oral healthcare of its people.


Pacific Region Dental Aid Grant (US$3,500)

Samoa Outreach project

This grant goes towards supporting three dental professionals who will travel to Samoa and provide up to 50 volunteer hours of treatment in conjunction with the National Health Service.

Dental relief and oral healthcare education are two core objectives, with grant funds contributing to basic dental service and home care packages for underserviced communities around Motootua Island and its public hospital.

The visiting team of volunteer dental professionals will also hold educational seminars for local dentists to upskill clinicians in areas of endodontics and oral surgery.

Basic oral healthcare treatment will include relief of pain, fillings, periodontal work and surgical extractions.

Educational resources and oral hygiene instruction will also be provided to reduce the likelihood of communities requiring emergency dental treatment in future.

Pacific Region Dental Aid Grant Category (US$1,500)

Oral healthcare education in schools

Oral healthcare can be a challenge for many Fijians, with obstacles such as cost of care and geographic location making treatment inaccessible for many families. For residents of remote Taveuni Island, access to dentistry is even more difficult with one dentist for a population of 16,000 and many inhabited islands nearby.

This grant funding will contribute to the staging of oral healthcare education workshops in local Fijian schools by four dentists from New Zealand.

Targeting children in their final two years of primary school, the programme will run for two weeks and include up to nine schools. This age group is selected to encourage sound oral healthcare knowledge before the children enter secondary school.

Educating the community on the importance of long term preventative dental health and good diet, is an additional positive outcome created by the programme’s funding support.

Community Service Grants (US$1,000 x5)

Wahine Toa oral healthcare programme for young mothers

This project targets mothers between the ages of 19-25 years living in the North Taranaki region whom without funding support would otherwise be unable to access low cost dental treatment.

We will initially focus on preventative treatment and relief of pain.

There is no fluoridation in the area and it is hoped that this group will improve their own oral health while learning to nurture and maintain dental hygiene within their whanau.

Evidence suggests that interventions offered to mothers, increasing their knowledge of oral healthcare messages, will ultimately lead to better dental outcomes for their own children.

In tandem with Maori health services, grant funding will go towards appointments for young mothers – offering dental care advice, hygiene, investigative x-rays, followed by dental treatment.

Kura Wai Maori Kaupapa

Funding for this project targets predominantly Maori children in a low socioeconomic area, who will be encouraged to drink water as an alternative to sugary drinks.

A school-wide policy will issue a ‘water only challenge’ to all students, staff and whanau in efforts to improve oral healthcare in the area.

The project will also include a tooth brushing programme set up in the junior department of the school with staff and whanau taking responsibility for programme delivery.

Students will be asked to contribute to a video incorporating oral healthcare messages which can then be shared as a resource for whanau and Maori within the region.

He Niho Rau! community support for Maori

Meaning ‘100 teeth’, this Taranaki community project will aim to address unmet need among adult Maori who are hospitalised at a disproportionately high rate for dental concerns compared to other ethnic groups.

This grant funding will improve access to oral healthcare education and affordable treatment, filling a significant gap in healthcare within the community.

The impact of poor dental knowledge is far reaching. It is suggested that future quality of life in terms of employment, socioeconomic status and parental roles are all negatively affected where oral healthcare is not well understood.

Local Maori healthcare workers will spearhead educational sessions, while trial clinics will be set up in high need communities of north, south and coastal Taranaki. Up to 20 adult Maori patients will benefit from this project.

Children with dental caries

Caries management by risk assessment (CaMBRA) is an effective proactive treatment for children whose teeth are affected by bacteria.

As CaMBRA can be cost prohibitive, funding from this grant will help a small group of Ruapehu District children and their families to sample treatment protocol to reduce their risk of dental caries.

Four oral health professionals will volunteer 20 hours across four months and see up to 40 children aged 18 and under for personalised consultations.

Grant funding will enable the team to purchase CCP-ACP paste, chlorhexidine mouth rinse and, for the adolescents, a high fluoride toothpaste, as part of a wider education plan on prevention and management of dental caries.

Education for high need dental patients

The School of Dentistry provides comprehensive dental care to the population of Dunedin and beyond.

This project aims to improve direct communication with those people in most need of oral healthcare education and advice.

Undergraduate dental students, in consultation with staff, will produce easy-to-understand written information on accessing dental care, as well as appropriate dental self-care.

These information sheets will be mailed out and targeted at the whole family for at-risk patients.

ENDS

The Wrigley Company Foundation

The Wrigley Company has a rich history of giving back to the communities where we live and work. Established in 1987 to formalise the giving of grants and donations, the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation has distributed more than USD$50 million to non-profit organisations around the world. The mission of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Foundation is to improve the health of people and our planet through sustainable initiatives focused in oral health and environmental stewardship as well as local needs that ensure a healthy community. Wrigley provides support not only with financial resources, but with the care and compassion of their 16,000 associates who have a passion for service and are provided opportunities throughout the year to exhibit their generous spirit. www.wrigley.com


New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA)
The New Zealand Dental Association represents registered dentists throughout the country, and is the leading advocate for oral health. The NZDA works to improve the oral health of New Zealanders, through public education, promotion and research. The NZDA has more than 2500 members and is the professional association for all dentists in New Zealand.
www.nzda.org.nz; www.healthysmiles.org.nz


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