Chanute High School students had the chance to get their teeth cleaned and checked on Monday without even leaving the building.
A partnership between the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC) and Communities in Schools (CIS) made the event possible. The CIS coordinator at the high school, Sarah Stockebrand, was pleased that they were able to bring the clinic to CHS.
“It just helps to alleviate some barriers, maybe a lack of transportation, or a student or family doesn’t have insurance, or a regular dentist that they see,” Stockebrand said. “It just helps to bring (the dentist and staff) in and then the students don’t miss much class time at all.”
The dental clinic comes at no cost to students or their families. The student’s insurance is billed for services if they have it, but whatever insurance doesn’t cover, or if they don’t have dental coverage, is written off by the clinic. CHC receives grants through the State of Kansas to provide sealants and screenings as well. The first dental clinic in the school district was held at Chanute Elementary School last fall, and its success led to the clinic at CHS. A dentist will be at Chanute Elementary in late February to provide restorative care for students. There are currently more students that need care than they actually have time to treat, as the outreach program currently only has one dentist serving 38 school districts in southeast Kansas. Dental hygienist Elizabeth Wehlage is hopeful that they can schedule another date for more students to be seen.
“We like to be ambitious, but we also know that (the dentist) has other districts to get to,” she said. “We have to share her with everybody.”