Funds will expand region’s only mobile health program at Missouri’s No. 1 children’s hospital
November 11, 2021 – ST LOUIS, MO – St. Louis Children’s Hospital is set to significantly expand the hospital’s Healthy Kids Express Dental program – the region’s only free, comprehensive and regularly-scheduled mobile health service providing kids with access to dental care services in their own neighborhoods thanks to a generous grant from the Crawford Taylor Foundation.
The Crawford Taylor Foundation’s investment represents a shared commitment by two pillars of St. Louis’ community to reduce health disparities among children.
“The Crawford Taylor Foundation is an enduring example of what it means to champion a community,” said Trish Lollo, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “Healthy Kids Express Dental is part of our effort to improve the health and quality of life of kids beyond the walls of our hospital, and the Crawford Taylor Foundation’s generosity means life-changing care for kids with little or no access to it.”
The Crawford Taylor Foundation’s transformational gift will allow Healthy Kids Express Dental to serve 3,500-4,000 children each year – more than double its current number– around the St. Louis area. St. Louis Children’s Hospital currently operates one Healthy Kids Express Dental unit with a full-time dentist, two dental assistants and three dental exam chairs; the unit offers dental exams, cleanings, x-rays, restorative care, and dental education. Program expansion will include a second mobile dental office, a specialized vehicle outfitted for procedures requiring patient sedation and the recruitment of highly skilled professionals for both vehicles.
In 2020, while adapting to COVID-19 safety protocols, Healthy Kids Express Dental saw 1,081 patients and performed 5,120 dental procedures. Of kids requiring additional dental care in 2020, 81 percent completed their care within one year of initial diagnosis.
Since its inception in 2010, St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s Healthy Kids Express Dental program has aimed to reduce health disparities by providing critical dental health services to kids close to home – at schools, daycare centers, Head Start programs, community youth and family organization sites, etc.
Tooth decay is among the most common chronic childhood diseases. If left untreated, it can lead to inadequate nutrition, pain, infection, missed school, depression and low self-esteem. In Missouri, roughly 27% of school-aged children have untreated tooth decay. Children from low-income families are at greater risk overall, with roughly 70% of children with Medicaid not receiving dental services of any kind. Barriers to care include family medical literacy, financial limitations, and lack of insurance.
St. Louis Children’s Hospital Foundation raises awareness and funds to support scientific discovery and innovation, family-centered care and community health improvement. To inquire about the unit coming to your area please email [email protected].
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About Crawford Taylor Foundation
In 1997, a local St. Louis entrepreneur, Jack Taylor, started the Crawford Taylor Foundation in 1997 with the vision to help make St. Louis a better region. Over the years, the Foundation has supported many organizations in the St. Louis area, mainly those that improve the community, address women and youth issues, animal welfare, and the environment. Today, three generations of the Taylor Family make up the Board of Trustees.
About St. Louis Children’s Hospital
For more than 140 years, St. Louis Children's Hospital has provided exceptional care for children in all 50 states and 80 countries around the world. With its academic partner, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s is consistently ranked among the nation’s best pediatric hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. A member of BJC HealthCare, St. Louis Children’s follows one simple mission – to do what’s right for kids. That mission comes to life through medical discovery, innovative therapies and compassionate care. St. Louis Children’s relies on generous donations to deliver specialized care for families in need, extend health care services to the community, and pursue research that promises to transform pediatric medicine. To find out more, visit StLouisChildrens.org, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.