College News

CCCC receives Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation Dental Center grant

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SANFORD — The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North CarolinarnFoundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Central Carolina CommunityrnCollege for its partnership with Lee County Public Health Department inrncreating the Central Carolina Dental Center.

Therncenter, located in the historic W.B. Wicker School building in Sanford,rnwill combine the training of dental hygienists and dental assistantsrnwith providing dental health services to needy residents. The goal isrnto more than double the number of dental health visits for uninsuredrnresidents in central North Carolina and establish a service-learningrnprogram to train oral health-care professionals.

“ThernCentral Carolina Dental Center will make a real difference in tacklingrna pressing health issue from two fronts: addressing the troubling staternof dental health in the region and combating a serious shortage ofrndental health providers,” said Kathy Higgins, president of the BCBSNCrnFoundation. “This effective approach fits nicely with the our focus onrnimproving health care access in North Carolina, and the Blue Cross andrnBlue Shield of North Carolina Foundation is pleased to do its part tornhelp.”

The center is now open for clinicalrnservices, including teeth cleanings, dental examinations, x-rays andrnother services. Within three years, it is expected to provide 5,000rnpatient visits annually, up from the current 1,900. It is also expectedrnto train about 40 new dental health professionals per year.

“PendingrnAmerican Dental Association accreditation, the first class of DentalrnAssisting diploma students will start in the spring 2007 semester, andrnDental Hygiene students will begin working toward their Associate inrnApplied Science degrees in the fall of 2007,” said CCCC President MattrnGarrett.

According to the Centers forrnDisease Control, poor people and minorities have a higher incidence ofrnoral health problems. A report from the U.S. Surgeon General found thatrnchildren and adolescents living in poverty suffer twice as much toothrndecay as their more affluent peers and that their disease is likely torngo untreated.

The problem is acute in thernregion to be served by the Central Carolina Dental Center. The N.C.rnDivision of Public Health reported that in 2002, the rate of untreatedrntooth decay for fifth graders was 53 percent in Moore County, 52rnpercent in Lee County, 46 percent in Chatham County and 41 percent inrnHarnett County. The statewide average is 24 percent.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation:
rnThe Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation providesrnfinancial support to improve the health and well-being of NorthrnCarolinians. This mission is achieved through programs and servicesrnfunded in response to grant requests, as well as through funding forrnprograms supporting needs identified by the BCBSNC Foundation. Sincernits inception in November 2000, the BCBSNC Foundation has awarded morernthan $29 million in grants to organizations throughout the state. Inrnaddition to its grant program, the BCBSNC Foundation supports severalrnsignature programs. These programs include Be Active KidsSM, anrnaward-winning program that teaches preschool children about nutritionrnand physical activity; and Healthy Community Institutes for Non-ProfitrnExcellence, two-day intensive training sessions offered free of chargernto all North Carolina nonprofits. Additional information about thernBCBSNC Foundation’s signature programs and grant requirements, as wellrnas a list of all grants awarded can be found on our Web site