By Ellie Burbee, Kids in Need of Dentistry Executive Director
From the Winter 2019 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association
Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND) is growing. In late 2018, the Colorado Springs Oral Health Center location moved and entered into a service and space partnership with Mission Medical Center (MMC). MMC provides complimentary services to KIND, serving uninsured/underinsured adults (18 and older) with whole body healthcare—including dental, medical, behavioral, pharmaceutical, and outreach services like food pantries and medical equipment donation. This partnership creates a new opportunity for the families both organizations serve to receive much-needed whole-body care, including dental, in one location! This exciting new partnership and move into this collaborative space will allow KIND to utilize more of its funding to provide dental care to patients, rather than to brick and mortar overhead costs.
Thanks to the generous product donations of two Colorado dentists, Dr. John Warner and Dr. Andrew Hall, KIND will be able to advance its service to patients in 2019 by equipping each of its oral health centers with panoramic digital x-ray machines.
KIND’s services to families in Colorado continue to grow. In 2017, KIND served over 8,000 patients across the state with nearly $700,000 worth of needed dental care. As of September 2018, KIND had provided over $1M in dental treatment to underserved children and families, mainly targeting the Denver-metro area and Colorado Springs. 2019 brings plans to increase access to care both within these borders and through expansion into rural communities via a pilot program funded in part by the CDA Foundation. KIND needs dental volunteers, donors, and corporate support to help make our vision for sustained growth a reality. Currently KIND serves Colorado through three main programs:
- Four oral health centers located within collaborative spaces with community partners, including two centers in Denver-metro, one in Commerce City, and one in Colorado Springs. All centers offer full-service general dentistry and orthodontic care to Medicaid, CHP+, and uninsured/underinsured patients and use both paid dental staff and volunteer dentists.
- Chopper Topper, a school-based mobile sealant and dental hygiene program, offers sealants, fluoride treatments, screenings, dental products
and education to children in over 100 low-income schools in the Denver-metro area, completely free of charge to those served.
- KINDCares Outreach Programming serves non-profits, low-income schools, early childhood centers, community events, and—newly in 2019—rural communities, with a range of dental services from education counseling and free dental products to screenings and treatment.
Because KIND provides low-cost, mission-driven dentistry to those in our society who have no other options, and no child is turned away due to inability to pay, we rely heavily on community support in the forms of product donation, volunteerism, and financial giving. The leadership of KIND believes it is of the utmost importance to involve Colorado’s dental community in these efforts and that there is a role for almost anyone to play, whether they can give their time monthly, once a year, or sponsor a child’s dental care financially through our Adopt-a-Smile for KIND monthly recurring giving program.
Interested in getting involved? Learn more at kindsmiles.org.
Ellie Burbee is the executive director of Kids in Need of Dentistry. While earning her degree in non-profit management and a master’s in business administration, she worked in the nonprofit sector for five years, and then in the corporate world of finance for another seven years, serving on multiple non-profit boards, prior to officially joining KIND full-time in 2017. Contact her at email@example.com.
Thank you, KIND 2018 dental volunteers!
Dr. Julie Be
*Denotes volunteers who have donated 30 hours or more.