A free community mobile oral health service run by the University of Newcastle was launched on the Central Coast on March 7.
The service will be available to seniors and current Health Care Card holders. Oral Health students from the University’s Central Coast campus will offer check-ups, teeth cleaning and fluoride treatments under the supervision of a certified dentist.
The service will be offered every Wednesday for three weeks at various locations on the Central Coast including Mingara Recreation Club at Tumbi Umbi, Coast Shelter at Gosford, Lake Haven Shopping Centre, and the Central Coast Youth Club at Niagara Park.
Wyong Shire Council will store and transport the van.
The University of Newcastle’s Associate Professor of Oral Health, Jane Taylor, said the service provided two important benefits to students and the local community.
“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.”
University of Newcastle Foundation CEO, Louise O’Connell, said without corporate and community support, the service would not have been possible.
“We are incredibly grateful for the community’s help to start this valuable service. We hope to receive further support for ongoing costs and maintenance to sustain it into the future.”
Medfin, a provider of finance for healthcare professionals, has donated the van and the trailer. Together with NAB health it also covered many costs to repair and refit the van.
Community groups have also 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, which donated a dental chair unit plus a Kodak Xray machine. Karagi Court supplied a sterilising unit; Gastrohealth funded the van’s exterior; Coast Shelter, the Co-Op Bookshop and the Rotary and Lions Clubs at The Entrance provided financial support; and Dentsply and Colgate donated dental cleaning equipment and consumables.
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
About the University of Newcastle Foundation:
The Foundation is the platform for philanthropic support for the University of Newcastle. Donations help fund student scholarships, academic positions and research. It also aims to create and sustain relationships between the community, business, alumni and the University.
Media contact: Benieke Treverton, University of Newcastle Foundation on (02) 4985 4178 or0404 624 969.