Revamped Give Kids a Smile successful

Give Kids a Smile 2019

University of Minnesota School of Dentistry dental, dental hygiene, dental therapy students, pediatric dentistry residents, staff and faculty came together on Saturday, February 9, at Moos Tower to provide oral health care to underserved children at the 14th annual Give Kids a Smile day.

This year’s GKAS planning committee partnered with two social service organizations to recruit uninsured patients and those with special health needs. School of Dentistry volunteers partnered with Portico – an organization that helps uninsured individuals and families access affordable health coverage and Holland Center – a day treatment program and medical clinic for children with autism. Portico referred 32 patients for morning appointments and Holland Center referred 17 patients for afternoon appointments.

At the event, a behavior specialist accompanied Holland Center patients, each of whom went home with a “social story” video of their dental visit to help reinforce self-care and social skills and set the stage for future dental visits. Also, GKAS volunteers raised funds to support dental visits and care throughout the year for uninsured Portico-referred patients (up to $500/patient).

Thank you to GKAS Coordinators Spencer Daley, Kira Powell and Taylor Sawyer (all D3 students), Faculty Advisor Elise Sarvas, DDS, MSD, MPH and to more than 300 student, resident, staff and faculty volunteers on hand who helped make the day a success.