The mission of the Healthy Smiles program is to reduce disparities in oral healthcare
for underserved children in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD).
Since 2000, Healthy Smiles has provided CMSD
students with dental screenings, sealants and
ongoing care referrals, as well as dental health
and hygiene education.
Under the supervision of Case Western Reserve University
Dental School faculty, pre-doctoral dental students perform dental exams and apply sealants to students in grades 2, 3, 6 and 7 at temporary clinics set up in each participating school.
According to U.S. News and World Report
Oral health is the #1
need in poor
Health status is
directly linked to
Research shows direct
links between oral
health and overall
Just 20% of children account for 80% of dental disease occurrences
(poor, inner-city children are the most affected)
83% of CMSD students meet federal poverty guidelines
and do not have a “dental home”
The program provides hands-on experience to first-year dental students
(CWRU is only school that has first-year clinical experience)
It sensitizes dental students to the needs of underserved populations
Chair and Professor in the
Department of Community Dentistry
School of Dental Medicine at
Case Western Reserve University
Dr. Lalumandier has been the driving
force behind Healthy Smiles. Spend any
amount of time with Dr. Lalumandier,
and several qualities become quickly apparent – drive, energy, intellect, humor, and kindness.
Since 1999, another important quality,
perseverence, has served the doctor
well in overcoming the many obstacles to
promoting healthier smiles for Cleveland kids
and a better education for dental students.
Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine initiated The Healthy Smiles Sealant Program in collaboration with CMSD through a 1999 pilot grant
funded by Saint Luke's Foundation.
After the success of the pilot program, Saint Luke’s Foundation committed to long-term funding for this program. A total of $6.9 million was granted to this program from 1999-2013.
Funding was also provided by:
The Cleveland Foundation
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
“We learned that great
results like this take time,
patience and persistence.”
– Denise San Antonio Zeman
President and CEO of Saint Luke's Foundation
CMSD had to get buy-in to ensure parental permission and student participation
CWRU had to institute curriculum changes,
which required faculty approvals
CWRU needed to create a required first-year course,
“Outreach Preventive Dentistry”
As the program continues to grow,
funding remains a challenge
“Someone has to drive the van, and initially that someone was me,” says Dr. Lalumandier.
CMSD 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th graders continue to be served by Healthy Smiles.
CWRU remains committed
to sustaining Healthy Smiles while seeking additional
Janet E. Burney
Saint Luke's Foundation
Dental students continue to provide crucial service in underserved areas
is now being
used as a
a leader in
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