Partnerships that help children

Partnerships make such a difference.

We’ve said it time and time again on this page as we’ve lauded the efforts of so many who, joining together, pooling resources and ideas, have impacted the lives of thousands of people across Sampson County, making it a better place for us all.

Another great example of how partnerships work is the one between Sampson County Schools and CommWell Health, which provides affordable dental care for children who, otherwise, might not be able to obtain it.

Just this week, a ribbon was cut on a new 40-foot, fully equipped mobile dental clinic that is expected to serve over 1,400 youngsters in our county schools during the 2017-18 school year. That’s a lot of kids who will receive comprehensive oral services like cleanings, exams, Xrays, sealants, extractions, restorations and even crowns.

While the cost for those services isn’t gratis, what parents or guardians will have to pay is nominal compared to normal dental costs for those who do not have dental insurance or Medicaid. The sliding scale allows fees to better fit the gamut of incomes one sees in Sampson County.

And that means that children who probably have never set foot in a dentist office before will have the opportunity to get the care they need and deserve.

“All children deserve access to comprehensive dental care and to be free of dental pain and decay,” Sampson Schools superintendent Dr. Eric Bracy said during the ribbon cutting for the clinic earlier this week.

He is so right.

Expanding care to children in Sampson County is a vital part of bettering our community. The dental clinic is not a handout but another hand up, a way to reach those who need it most, providing care that, otherwise, wouldn’t be within their grasp.

These children cannot help the conditions in which they live nor the services their guardians can ill afford to provide, and that’s why these partnerships are so important in our community.

Because of CommWell Health’s commitment to providing quality care at reasonable prices, children have an opportunity to feel better. Just as a hungry child has difficulty learning, so does one with a toothache or gum problems that cause tremendous pain.

Breaking the financial barriers that often prevent kids from getting the health care they need and deserve serves as a means of allowing them to grow up healthier and educated to the fact that regular dental checkups can and will make a difference in their lives.

With dental care being one of the single greatest unmet needs among children across this nation, we feel very blessed that Sampson County has been afforded the opportunity to utilize the mobile dental clinic.

We need more partnerships like the one between the county schools and CommWell.