“The ADHF were delighted to have the opportunity to visit the University of Newcastle Oral Health Van on the recent World Oral Health Day. The University of Newcastle was a 2014 recipient of a Wrigley Company Foundation ADHF Community Service Grant to support its Oral Health Van.
The Oral Health Van provides outreach services to residents on the NSW Central Coast. The van is moved between areas of need including Mingara Recreation Club, the Entrance Foreshore Park and Kibble Park in Gosford. All areas are identified as containing low socio-economic populations.
Final year Bachelor of Oral Health students are rostered to the Van each week, and patients are pre-booked with appointments. People are also able to ‘drop in’ on the day and receive information about services and oral health education. Where necessary, patients are referred back to the University of Newcastle oral health clinic for appointments with dental hygiene and dental therapy students. In 2014 the Van saw 230 patients.
Local dentist, Dr Ainsley Marsh supervises the students in the Van and thoroughly enjoys her time with students and patients. “I feel that a valuable component of this community service is empowering the patients to be proactive in preventing their own and their family’s dental health problems”, she said. Dr Marsh is also very pleased to be a part of the Wrigley Company Foundation ADHF Community Service Grant saying ”this support will allow us to do more for more people in the local community, that feels just great”.
Keith Whelan, ADHF Development Officer commented, “This is a fantastic initiative and the ADHF and Wrigley’s are delighted to have the opportunity to fund this initiative through the grants programme, thereby enhancing awareness of the importance of oral health on the Central Coast, NSW”.