The Miles of Smiles (MOS) program was started in 2012 from a business plan created by NCDHD that stated the following objectives:
Objective 1: At least 9 dental hygienists will become Public Health authorized and agree to contract with NCDHD.
Objective 2: Will secure agreement with at least 20 schools to provide services to schools by August 30, 2012.
Objective 3: Will serve 30% of students in 20 schools in the first year.
Objective 4: Increase number of participating schools by at least 5% in year 2.
Objective 5: After 3 years will increase school participation to 40%.
Objective 6: After 5 years will serve 40% of students in all 38 schools.
Objective 7: Will increase student participation by 10% each year.
Objective 8: By year 5, will reduce the need for dental restorative care by 10%.
With in two years the Miles of Smiles program succeeded in meeting six of these objectives, by securing agreements with all 38 schools within the district and an average of 50 percent school enrollment participating in the program and contracting with 9 Public Health Authorized Registered Dental Hygienists.
The program coordinator wrote letters, made phone calls and held face to face meetings with all schools principals and dental providers throughout the district. The up front communication regarding the program to the dental providers helped to gain their much needed support towards Miles of Smiles.
One of Miles of Smiles key stakeholders in the program is the Nebraska Community Foundation, whose partnership began when MOS was gearing up to start the sixth year of clinics in June of 2017. The Nebraska Community Foundation has a donor advised fund who has provided a matching grant to the program. The match provides $25,000 each year for 5 years and challenges the Miles of Smiles program to match that $25,000 each year. This grant has helped to assist the Miles of Smiles program to not only financially sustain the program but to develop relationships with the private donors to help promote and educate the public about the program throughout the district as well as allow it to expand to meet even more of the need. In approaching the private donors for the match dollars needed it was found that the public was very willing to help in anyway they can, even more so once educated on the program and understanding what it offers to their youth. MOS is wrapping up the first whole year of this matching grant fund and is very proud to say, the funding has already been met for the 5 year $125,000 with potential to receive more then the original amount received. With this new partnership the Miles of Smiles program has created new goals and objectives to expand.
The following measurable objectives are where Miles of Smiles plans to be within the next five years:
Objective 1: Hire one part-time public health authorized registered dental hygienist.
Objective 2: By year five, oral health education and marketing efforts will be done with school faculty and administration as well as with dental providers and parents.
Objective 3: By year five, increase direct services provided to 85% of students within each respective school. Miles of Smiles currently serves approximately 50% of students in all schools and will look to increase direct services provided by 5%, 7.5%, 10%, respectively for years two, three and four, thus by year 5, reaching the 85% school participation mark.
Objective 4: By year five, increase the number of sealant programs done each year. We are currently at two per year, but would like to increase to seven per year after five years.
Objective 5: By year five, will reduce dental referrals given out after dental screenings by 10% or greater.
Objective 6: By year five, Miles of Smiles will begin the process of starting a Corrective Care Event” for children age 0-14, held once a year in NCDHDs office. All dental work done will be free of charge and all dentist and hygienist time will be donated.