Grant from Walmart Foundation helps bring smiles to Providence Child Center kids

March 15, 2012
PORTLAND, Ore. – At Providence Child Center, caregivers provide around-the-clock care for children with complex medical issues. Now, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, the center’s specialty pediatric dental clinic will help to provide oral health care to even more special-needs children in the community.

Oral health care is the most prevalent unmet health need among children with disabilities. These children are at increased risk of oral infections, delays in tooth eruption, periodontal disease and enamel irregularities. Their exposure to certain medications and therapies also can compound oral health care issues.

Providence Specialty Pediatric Dental Clinic opened in April 2011 to serve children who have a range of developmental, medical and behavioral needs, including sensory issues, autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental and speech-language delays.

According to Pat Budo, Providence Child Center administrator, the clinic’s goals are to provide special-needs children and their siblings access to a full range of dental services and to promote good oral and preventative health care as a way of life. Budo said funds from the Walmart Foundation are instrumental to accomplishing these goals. “This is a giant step toward providing a dental home for children with special needs so they will receive the care they need,” said Budo.

In addition to fully funding a second dental suite, some of the Walmart Foundation resources will be dedicated to oral health outreach and education.

Through financial contributions, in-kind donations and volunteerism, the Walmart Foundation supports initiatives focused on education, sustainability, workforce development, and health and wellness. “The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to be supporting the Providence Child Center, and we are committed to helping those in need in the communities we serve,” said Matti Havener, Walmart regional general manager. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that more of the center’s residents and special-needs children in the community receive important oral health care.”

For more information about Providence Specialty Pediatric Dental Clinic, or to make an appointment, call 503-215-1056.