In recognition for providing free dental services for local underserved youth, the Medical Education Campus (MEC) of Northern Virginia Community College’s Dental Hygiene program was honored at the Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation’s (MCCP) "Celebrating our Partners in Health" gala on Saturday, June 3 at the Fairfax Country Club.
Through a new partnership with the MCCP Foundation, beginning in September, students enrolled in the MEC’s Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene program will provide free dental screenings, teeth cleanings and oral health instruction for underserved students in kindergarten through second grade from Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences in Falls Church. MCCP Foundation Executive Director Marcia Twomey said this new collaborative effort with the MEC will serve as a pilot program to assist their foundation in utilizing medical facilities within the local community to better serve low-income children.
“We have approximately 3,500 enrolled children from low-income, uninsured and working families throughout Fairfax County,” Twomey said. “The Medical Education Campus will help to serve our children located in the Bailey’s, Springfield and Annandale area in a more convenient and accessible way. Starting in the fall, 30 elementary school students at a time will be transported to the Medical Education Campus to receive oral screening and dental cleanings from NOVA’s dental hygiene students. NOVA students will also visit the children at Bailey’s Elementary to provide oral care presentations. The goal of this program is to educate and treat children at an early age on proper dental care.”
Based on the MEC’s active involvement with Give Kids a Smile® and Mission of Mercy, two local and national annual initiatives offering annual free dental services in underserved local communities, MCCP Foundation viewed NOVA’s Medical Education Campus as a contributory resource to the medical community. MCCP Foundation raises funds to provide medical and dental care for its enrolled children in Fairfax County. Their mission is to ensure that all eligible children have access to medical and dental care, which is made possible through the support of corporations, foundations, individuals and health care providers.
“Thirty of our dental hygiene students will visit Bailey’s Elementary School for the Arts and Sciences four times a week to educate their students on proper oral hygiene as well as offer oral screenings to them onsite at the MEC’s dental clinic,” said Elizabeth Di Silvio, assistant professor in NOVA’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. “This is a great way for our students to experience the opportunity of working with pediatric patients. They will also gain a sense of what it is like to provide care to the underserved. This means a great deal to the dental assisting and dental hygiene programs because our profession is all about community service and education. This is truly an incredible opportunity for both the MCCP Foundation and the MEC.”
As a means to better assist with the MEC and the MCCP Foundation pilot program, Twomey, along with MCCP Director of Operations Stacey Hardy, will relocate their office to the MEC to work alongside the Campus’ faculty and staff in Springfield. An official opening ceremony for the pilot program is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2017 at the Medical Education Campus. For additional information on services offered through the MCCP Foundation, contact Marcela Castro, Health Access Manager for the Fairfax County Department of Family Services at 703-787-4937.
Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.