This fall, TeethFirst! and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT partnered with Project Undercover to distribute over 700 oral health care kits to children and families in Providence. These oral health care kits provide the tools and information needed to put our children on a path to healthy smiles for a lifetime.
Project Undercover is a local non-profit that seeks to meet the emergency needs of the estimated 45,000 children throughout Rhode Island living in poverty by supplying diapers, socks, underwear and baby wipes to two dozen Community Action Partnerships and social service agencies throughout the state. Donations and supplies are collected throughout the year and are allocated based on poverty data.
Assembling the pieces: Multiple partners for success
In August, UnitedHealthcare Dental (UHCD) graciously donated 600 oral health care kits to TeethFirst! The kits, which consisted of a toothbrush, tooth paste, and package of floss, were assembled by UHCD employees at a social responsibility event held at their headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
“UnitedHealthcare is pleased to partner with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT in supporting the efforts of Project Undercover. Rhode Island KIDS COUNT works to improve the lives of Rhode Island’s children, including their oral health,” said Dr. Michael Weitzner, Vice President Dental Clinical Operations of UnitedHealthcare. “As part of UnitedHealthcare’s oversight of the RIte Smiles Medicaid dental program for children, we have a long and valuable relationship with Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, who share our passion and mission for helping people live healthier lives.
Once shipped to Rhode Island, TeethFirst! supplemented the kits with bilingual resources (First Dental Visits Brochure, Keeping Your Mouth Healthy During Pregnancy Brochure, and infant/toddler toothbrushes), as well as information about getting health insurance provided by the City of Providence. Additional toothbrushes and toothpaste were provided by Delta Dental of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Health Oral Health Program. All together, over 700 oral health care kits were assembled.
Distributing the kits: Project Undercover
Together, TeethFirst! and Project Undercover distributed the oral health care kits to families in Providence. Partnering with Project Undercover was a perfect fit, given their expertise with distribution and the shared mission of improving the lives of young children.
“For us, both the timing and the contents of the oral health care kits were perfect,” said Project Undercover Founder/President Richard Fleischer. “We had just received our order of 120,000 diapers to distribute across Providence, and were in the process of sorting for our partner agencies when the kits arrived. Since our mission is geared toward children under age 7, these kits really complimented our normal distribution – it was a great match!”
This is just another example of how it takes a community working together to keep our little ones healthy and the important role community agencies can play in promoting oral health.
Thank you to all of our partners!