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PRESS RELEASE: Oral Health Campaign

WellFort launches #Smiles4All Campaign!


May 22nd, 2018. In response to the rising oral health inequities in our community in Peel Region, WellFort is launching a Smiles For All campaign calling all political candidates to invest in oral health programs as we head into elections. As one of Ontario’s 74 Community Health Centres, WellFort champions equitable access to oral healthcare for all Ontarians; especially for those who face the most barriers accessing oral health services. “Too many people in our community are not able to access affordable oral health care”, said Mayo Hawco, Executive Director at WellFort.

According to a survey WellFort conducted with the local community in Peel Region, approximately 70% cited cost as a barrier to accessing oral health care with 56% having no dental coverage. Lack of access to affordable oral health care often leads to poor oral health and overall health. This typically presents as dental pain and poor appearance, which can contribute to loss of self-esteem and prevent people from fully participating in activities at home, school, work, and the community.

Ontario’s Health Insurance Plan doesn’t cover dental treatment. The current patchwork of government-funded dental programs doesn’t do enough for low-income children, adults and seniors, new comers and other vulnerable groups, who are disproportionately impacted by oral disease and cannot afford the cost of dental treatment. “The right to health is a fundamental human right and oral health is an integral part of general health”, stated Dr. Sanjukta Mohanta, Dentist at Health n’ Smiles.

As advocates for our community’s health and wellbeing, WellFort is launching a #Smiles4All social media campaign on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018, calling for all political candidates to invest in community based oral health programs. The campaign will be composed of stories and experiences from WellFort clients and staff on the benefits of being a client at Bramalea Community Health Centre and Four Corners Health Centre has had on their health.

In the upcoming weeks, as the provincial elections approach, WellFort urges the political leaders to make oral health a priority and invest in community-based oral health care programs to ensure smiles for all. WellFort also calls on community groups and agencies, health equity advocates and social justice activists to join in calling for #Smiles4All!

How to join the campaign?

  • Use the hashtag #Smiles4All on social media
  • Meet with your local MPP and tell them the benefits of investing in community based oral health programs

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Media contact

Lindsey Farias, Manager, Health n’ Smiles Clinic
Lindsey.Farias@wellfort.ca

 

About WellFort Community Health Services

WellFort is a values-based community health organization that provides a range of programs, services and initiatives to build community capacity, promote health, and provide primary and oral health care to the region of Peel. It operates Bramalea Community Health Centre, Four Corners Health Centre, Health n’ Smiles and Bloom Clinic as well as a Diabetes Education Program. WellFort is funded to provide services to individuals and families who traditionally face barriers in accessing health care. WellFort is committed to providing inclusive, accessible and sustainable care to its priority populations.


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