LTSAE Collaboration with Give Kids a Smile at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry

April 5, 2022

On February 26th, MN LEND fellow, Kalee Abu-Ghazaleh, participated in the Give Kids a Smile event at the University of Minnesota (UMN) School of Dentistry.  Kalee organized an outreach table with "Learn the Signs, Act Early (LTSAE)" developmental resources. The event served 96 children and families from underserved communities and included interprofessional collaboration with other UMN health programs. Programs included: medical school, speech pathology, public health, veterinary, and dental hygiene. 

For the event, children in need of dental health services were identified through Portico Healthnet, which helps uninsured families access affordable care, and Ready Set Smile, an organization that helps children access dental services. Free dental care is provided and children who attend are given a scholarship to cover additional dental care at the UMN School of Dentistry. The goal is to create a dental home for these children. Additionally, having other health programs at the event allows families to reach additional information and community resources.

Going forward, LTSAE materials will be present in the pediatric clinic for a patient’s first dental visit, which should occur by age 1. This MN LEND and MN Act Early collaboration was organized by Kalee along with her MN LEND mentor, Dr. Jen Hall-Lande.