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June 25, 2015

Bassett Healthcare Network's School-Based Health/Oral Health Program Honored for Community Health Improvement Effort

Columbia Memorial Health, Montefiore New Rochelle Also Commended

BOLTON LANDING, N.Y.—By providing both preventive and restorative services at schools throughout four counties, Bassett Healthcare Network has improved the oral and overall health of children and young people through its School-Based Health/Oral Health Program. This program significantly increases access to dental care, providing more than 2,000 students with preventive dental services and over 400 with treatment and restorative care in 2014—and is the winner of the Healthcare Association of New York State's (HANYS) 2015 Community Health Improvement Award.

"Our hospitals and health systems are taking on the significant challenge of improving health within their communities. Through their efforts and collaborations with local schools and organizations, Bassett Healthcare Network has created an infrastructure to address a critical need throughout their region," said HANYS President Dennis Whalen.

The School-Based Health/Oral Health Program has provided dental services—from cleanings and fluoride varnish, to extractions and root canals, to assistance finding a dentist and dental insurance—in partnership with primary medical and mental health staff at 19 school-based health centers, all at no out-of-pocket cost to patients.

HANYS' Community Health Improvement Award recognizes outstanding initiatives that improve community health and well-being. Established in 1997, the award is presented to facilities and programs that target specific community health issues, demonstrate leadership, create partnerships among diverse groups, and achieve quantifiable results.

This year, two programs also received Honorable Mentions:

Columbia Memorial Health's Mobile Dental Services Program provides comprehensive mobile dental services for residents in two counties, including children in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade, and uses portable dental equipment for preventive dentistry within the schools and education for parents and children.  Through partnership with school districts, community groups, and government organizations, this program has improved access to preventive dental and treatment services for rural students and Medicaid/Child Health Plus recipients—more than 3,500 patients of all ages residing in a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area.

Montefiore New Rochelle's Healthy Lifestyle-Fit WIC focuses on preventing childhood obesity through improved nutrition and promotion of physical fitness activities and to make behavioral, positive, healthy choices that lead to life-long change. The program measures and monitors body mass indices (BMIs) and tracks improvement in partnership with primary care physicians. Nutritionists, dieticians, and personal trainers provide education and safe activities for parents and children. Of the more than 450 "at risk" participants, 61% lowered their BMI, and 90% completed the program. 

Questions?

Melissa Mansfield
Associate Director, Public and Media Relations
(518) 431-7770

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) is the only statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York State, representing 500 non-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies, and other health care organizations.