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NORDC AND NDA ANNOUNCE SUMMER CAMPERS “Back-to-School-Cavity-Free!” Program

NORDC AND NDA ANNOUNCE SUMMER CAMPERS “Back to School Cavity Free ” Program  New Orleans Plans are underway for the first Summer Campers “BACK TO SCHOOL CAVITY FREE ” initiative. The program is a collaboration of the New Orleans Recreation

NORDC AND NDA ANNOUNCE SUMMER CAMPERS “Back-to-School-Cavity-Free!” Program 

New Orleans- Plans are underway for the first Summer Campers “BACK-TO-SCHOOL-CAVITY-FREE!” initiative. The program is a collaboration of the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) and the National Dental Association (NDA). The project will consist of a series of NORDC events that will take place beginning March 4th through August 19th, 2017. The goal is to provide free dental care for the city’s 4,000 summer camp enrollees and to send each camper back to school with happy smiles and a healthy head start. The project is supported by the Louisiana Department of Health and the State Oral Health Coalition. Corporate sponsors are: VOCO, Colgate, Henry Schein, Inc., and Sunstar. 

The program was conceived to address persistent oral health disparities impacting vulnerable and underserved populations. In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver, a Maryland boy, died from untreated tooth decay that caused a deadly brain infection. A simple dental screening, referral to a dentist, and an $80 extraction would have saved his life. But he was uninsured, and Maryland’s public health system failed him. The National Dental Association (NDA) began a crusade to address issues of access and disparities, believing that no one should ever die from a preventable disease like tooth decay. In 2014, NDA-HEALTH NOW-New Orleans® was launched at the Treme Center. But since that time, death from dental disease struck again when a popular New Orleans trumpeter, Travis Hill died while on tour in Japan from a dental infection that caused his heart to stop beating; and a 26 year-old diabetic truck driver died from a tooth infection that spread to his lungs. 

In a major report published in 2010 by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Oral Health Program, “Oral Health in Louisiana”, a document on the Oral Health Status of Louisiana’s Population, these important findings were cited: 


  • There are 80 Title I schools in the New Orleans area 
  • In 2009, 38.5% of 776,127 Medicaid eligible children received dental services 
  • 478, 533 children covered by Medicaid did not receive dental care in 2009 
  • 87% of the state is designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), including Orleans and the surrounding parishes (which are also designated as Dental Health Shortage Areas)
  • In Louisiana, there is a chronic shortage of oral health data and the state’s Oral Health Program is striving to overcome this challenge. Louisiana also received a failing grade in oral health from the most recent Pew Report that rated each state on performance in 8 benchmark areas. 


Community partners will provide dental services and health education and will form provider networks to increase access to care. The coordinated efforts of voluntary health organizations, consumer groups, and concerned citizens, are vital to the success of this program. Dr. Hazel Harper, Project Director said, “Partnerships uniting sports organizations, schools, churches, community businesses, and other community groups and leaders, working together with the health community, can contribute significantly to improved oral and general health.” 

The 2017 NORDC “Back-to-School-Cavity-Free!” oral health events for the children: 

Summer Camp Expo – Saturday, March 4, 2017 -– 9a – 12p  

Lyons Rec. Center (624 Louisiana Ave. – New Orleans, LA 70112) 

Treme Rec. Center (900 N. Villere St. – New Orleans, LA 70116) 

Joe W. Brown Rec. Center (5601 Read Blvd. – New Orleans, LA 70127) 

Youth Fit Fest – Saturday, April 22, 2017 -– 10a – 2p  

Milne Rec. Center (5420 Franklin Ave., New Orleans, LA 70122 

Back-to-School Expo – Saturday, August 12, 2017 -– 9a – 1p  

Behrman Rec. Center (2529 General Meyer Ave. – New Orleans, LA 70114) 

Joe W. Brown Rec. Center (5601 Read Blvd. – New Orleans, LA 70127) 

Back-to-School Expo – Saturday, August 19, 2017 -– 9a – 1p  

Stallings St. Claude Rec. Center (4300 St. Claude Ave. – New Orleans, LA 70117) 

Rosenwald Rec. Center (1120 S. Broad St. – New Orleans, LA 70125) 

The project is supported by a vast network of community organizations, businesses and volunteers including: EXCELth, Inc., Audio Visual Technology, The New Orleans Dental Society, the Pelican State Dental Society, New Orleans Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, New Orleans Chapter of Jack and Jill, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, LSU School of Dentistry, Xavier University College of Pharmacy, Dillard University School of Nursing, National Black Nurses Association, Black Men of Labor, Yellow Pocahontas Indian Tribe Mardi Gras, Sudan Social and Pleasure Club, and the University of New Orleans Pre-dental students. 




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