$100,000 Given for Better Juvenile Oral Health

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mercy Health Foundation-Mahoning Valley has received $100,000 from the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation to expand its oral health wellness program to provide dental care and education for children in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, Michael S. Senchak announced Thursday.

Senchak, president and CEO of the Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation, said the grant will benefit children from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.

Through partnerships with 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% of third graders in Mahoning County and 62% in Trumbull County face tooth decay in various stages, Senchak said, rates higher than the state average. In addition to clinical care, the children will learn better oral hygiene.

Paul Homick Jr., president of the Mercy Health Foundation-Mahoning Valley, agreed. “Oral health, especially in adolescents, is critical to healthy lifestyles and can prevent various health risks,” he said. “Mr. Senchak and his board understand this and we are grateful for the opportunity he has given to respond to the needs our children have.”

Pictured from right: Donald Kline, Mercy Health CEO; Karen Cohen, Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley Board chairwoman; Michael Senchak, Mahoning Valley Hospital Foundation President and CEO; Dr. M. Frank Beck, St. Elizabeth/Kikel Mobile Smile Station; Paul Homick Jr., Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley president.

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