The Mercy Health Foundation – Mahoning Valley recently received $100,000 from the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation to expand the Oral Health Wellness program to provide access for pre-kindergarten through elementary-aged children in Mahoning and Trumbull counties to dental care and education.
Through collaborative partnerships with the Austintown Local School District and the Inspiring Minds program in Warren, the program focuses on reducing the proportion of children with untreated tooth decay, which is often a gateway to other infection.
Nearly 60 percent of third-graders in Mahoning County and 62 percent in Trumbull County face tooth decay in various stages, rates that are higher than Ohio’s state average.
In addition to clinical care, the children will learn various methods of oral hygiene and how to maintain healthy smiles.
Michael S. Senchak, president and chief executive officer of the MVHF, said, “We are fortunate and proud to be a collaborative partner with Mercy Health and the Foundation. We understand the importance of dental care and the need within the Valley.”
Paul Homick, Jr., president of the Mercy Health Foundation-Mahoning Valley, echoed the sentiment. “Oral health, especially in adolescents, is critical to healthy lifestyles and can prevent various health risks. Mr. Senchak and his board understand this and we are grateful for the opportunity he has given us to respond to the needs our children have,” Homick said.
Mercy Health Foundation-Mahoning Valley is the philanthropic arm of Mercy Health-Youngstown, an integrated health system in the Mahoning Valley, which encompasses the Youngstown/Warren metropolitan area in Mahoning and Trumbull counties and Columbiana County.