Oral Health Van Keeps Community Smiling
Keeping one’s teeth healthy can often be a struggle - especially for senior citizens, or those without private health cover.
Earlier this year, the University of Newcastle launched the Central Coast Oral Health Van program to help people on the Central Coast gain access to oral health services they may otherwise be missing out on.
The service is available to seniors and current Health Care Card holders on Wednesdays at a variety of Central Coast locations.
The van has been provided by funding from the University of Newcastle Foundation along with donations of equipment and labour from a number of local businesses and community groups. Wyong Shire Council will store and transport the van.
Oral Health students from the University’s Central Coast campus will offer check-ups, teeth cleaning and fl uoride treatments under the supervision of a certified dentist.
The University of Newcastle’s Associate Professor of Oral Health, Jane Taylor, said, “This initiative provides Central Coast residents with free oral health care. It also gives students real life work experience that counts toward their studies, and that they can take into their professional lives.”
Medfi n donated the van and the trailer and, with NAB health, covered many costs to repair and refit the van. Community groups lent a hand to prepare the van, with the Bateau Bay Mens’ Shed painting the inside of the van and de-rusting its trailer as part of the fit-out process. The Rotary Club of North Gosford funded and constructed steps for the van, and will help set it up each time it operates.
Other supporters include William Green Dental Supplies, Karagi Court, Gastrohealth, Coast Shelter, the Co-Op Bookshop, the Rotary and Lions Clubs at The Entrance, Dentsply and Colgate.
Oral health appointments are essential and can be made by phoning 02 4349 4416.
Anyone interested in making a donation to support this project can contact the University of Newcastle Foundation on (02) 4921 7453 or www.newcastle.edu.au/foundation