This month, Children’s Volunteer Health Network (CVHN) will unveil a new and improved mobile dental clinic, allowing the organization to more efficiently serve students in Okaloosa and Walton County Schools. In 2018, CVHN was forced to retire its beloved mobile dental clinic, Just for Grins, after it sustained previously undetected water damage.
“The loss of our Mobile Dental Clinic was disappointing,” said CVHN executive director Brian Lowe. “Although it made our outreach in the schools more challenging, our determined team served more than 650 kids while performing 2,856 procedures during the 2017-2018 school year.”
In order to continue reaching under-resourced children in our community, the CVHN team has been transporting the dental equipment and supplies in personal vehicles to set up temporary clinics in the schools. Having a new bus will enable the CVHN team to increase the capacity to serve additional students in the upcoming school year.
“A generous grant from the Dugas Family Foundation made the purchase of this bus possible,” Mr. Lowe said. “Once the bus arrives, we will need the help of the community to ensure we can keep it stocked and running from school-to-school.”
For the last 10 months, CVHN has been securing the funding, designing and coordinating the manufacturing of a brand new 37-foot long and 12-and-a-half-foot tall mobile dental clinic bus. The bus is equipped with two treatment bays to facilitate preventative and restorative dental services, an area to educate children on appropriate dental hygiene, and plenty of space to recognize the donors who passionately support CVHN’s programs to the most vulnerable children in both counties.
This summer, the CVHN mobile dental clinic will be going on tour, visiting businesses and churches in Walton and Okaloosa counties to spread awareness about the programs CVHN offers.
“The Bus Tour will give our community a chance to step onto our new mobile dental clinic and learn more about the services we are able to provide to low-income families in our community,” Mr. Lowe said.
Additionally, on April 22, CVHN launched a social media campaign to name the bus. Community members can submit their suggestions on Facebook and Instagram. The person who submits the winning name will win a beach bonfire from Beach Life Vacation Company.
The new mobile dental clinic and its new name will be unveiled to the community at CVHN’s Third Annual Smile Mile & 5K May 11 in the scenic community of WaterColor. Event participants will have the opportunity to tour the bus and learn more about what takes place on it as it travels around from school-to-school.
– Carly Harmer
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