The LENOWISCO Oral Health Education Project will integrate oral health education in classrooms and childcare centers in Lee, Scott, Wise counties and the city of Norton. UVa-Wise nursing students will conduct one-hour interactive education sessions using the Tutor Tooth Curriculum. Emphasis will be placed on preventing tooth decay, fluoride, sealants, nutrition and oral hygiene. This project will build on current oral health efforts in the region, working to reinforce the education and preventive oral health services provided through Virginia Department of Health and their strong partnership with regional school systems.

With funding from United Way of Southwest Virginia and the DentaQuest Foundation, the LENOWSICO Oral Health Education Project is the result of strong partnerships between the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, Healthy Appalachia Institute, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise and the Virginia Department of Health.

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise “Fundamentals of Nursing” course and faculty members, Debbie Carter, Cathie Collins and Chloe Meade will be in Scott County Schools in November, including Fort Blackmore Primary, Shoemaker Primary and Duffield Primary.

The LENOWISCO Oral Health Education Project aims to reach 1000 children in Lee, Scott and Wise Counties during the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Each student that participates in this project will receive a free tooth brush kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a timer.

“This is an incredible opportunity for UVa-Wise students to engage in a community based public health project focused on oral health prevention and education, said Margie Tomann, director of the Healthy Appalachia Institute. “We hope this project will support and strengthen current oral health efforts in the region, and we are grateful to our funders and for the strong local partnerships that make this project possible.”

This project focuses on increasing oral health education for children ages three (3) to third (3rd) grade and their caregivers and directly addresses the LENOWSICO Oral Health Partnership goals to increase oral health education at a variety of access points for children, parents, guardians, primary care providers, and educators as well as strategies to increase oral health education where people live, learn, work, play and worship, and to reduce intake of sugar sweetened beverages and artificially sweetened beverages in children, adolescents and adults.

 For more information about this project, contact Margie Tomann, director of Healthy Appalachia Institute, mtomann@uvawise.edu, 276-376-4882.