Grand Beginnings gets $106K grant for pregnant women’s, children’s oral health program

A local child receives an oral health screening at one of Grand Beginning's oral health program events earlier this year.
Courtesy photo

An oral health program offered to pregnant women and children by Grand Beginnings got a big boost this year thanks to a $106,000 grant from the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.

In mid-November, officials from Grand Beginnings, a Grand County-based nonprofit serving the needs of children in Grand and Jackson counties, received notification that the organization would receive a $106,000 grant from Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation. The grant will go to support Grand Beginnings’s oral health program.

“This is huge for us,” said Megan Lokteff, executive director of Grand Beginnings. “We have been doing oral health prevention in Grand and Jackson (Counties) since about 2013. This is the first time we have received full funding to be able to do this program.”

Lokteff noted that the $106,000 grant from Delta Dental Foundation will cover operational costs for Grand Beginnings’s oral health program for the next three years. Historically, Grand Beginnings has grouped together multiple funding streams in piecemeal fashion to support the oral health program, according to Lokteff.

Grand Beginnings’s oral health program is part of the organization’s Meeting Milestones Initiative, which is the umbrella initiative for all the screening services provided by Grand Beginnings. The program is aimed at pregnant women, young children not yet in school and children in grades kindergarten through fifth. The program covers both Grand and Jackson counties though most of the clients Grand Beginnings assists with the program are Grand County residents.

The program’s goal, to improve oral health in children and pregnant women, is accomplished through a series of oral health screenings put on by Grand Beginnings in conjunction with local dentists who work with the nonprofit entity on the initiative. While dentists conduct oral health screenings Grand Beginnings provides all supplies and also provides children and pregnant women who receive screenings with oral health kits and fluoride treatments.

As part of the program Grand Beginnings, in partnership with Grand County’s Rural Health Network, provides vouchers for pregnant women and children to receive preventative care from dentists or to cover work such as x-rays. Clients can apply for a voucher during the oral health screening process.

Grand Beginnings’s oral health screenings are held at multiple times through the year. A screening session is scheduled for each K-5 school within Grand and Jackson County, which are typically held in February. Lokteff said screenings would be held at Grand Beginning’s annual children’s fair on April 26.

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