In Wisconsin, one third of children are on Medicaid. Of this population, only 28% of children receive dental care. Improving access to dental care can lead to better overall health and a reduction of patients seeking emergent dental care services in hospital emergency departments.
Oral Health Partnership (OHP), a nonprofit founded in Green Bay, provides underserved children living in Brown County and surrounding counties access to preventive, restorative and emergency dental services at no cost. It offers a school-based dental care program, five clinic locations throughout Green Bay, and partners with three Green Bay hospitals – including HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center – to provide treatment for complex dental conditions that require an operating room setting. In 2022 alone, a record 10,056 children have been treated.
As an OHP partner, HSHS St. Vincent and St. Mary’s Hospitals provide operating room space and the assistance of its surgical staff to OHP physicians at no cost to OHP or the patient. Procedures may include the treatment of multiple cavities in young children, abscessed teeth and/or teeth extraction. Through direct grants, more than $150,000 has been donated to support these efforts and more than 3,000 patients have been treated in HSHS facilities.