Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Children’s Smile Center making long-term impact

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic childhood conditions in the U.S. and can impact the  way a child smiles and eats, to school performance, attendance and self-esteem.

Regular visits to a dentist combined with daily brushing are key to preventing tooth decay.

Dental Hygienist Shanna Toler shows off an oral hygiene kit.
Children’s Smile Center provides free, quality preventative and primary dental care for children and pregnant women with active Medicaid. To ensure that between visits children are continuing to care for their teeth, Skaggs Foundation has awarded a $3,100 Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grant to Children’s Smile Center for oral hygiene kits.

The kits include a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and fun timer to help kids know how long to brush.

“The kids that are getting these kits, sometimes it’s the only toothbrush or toothpaste they have,” says Community Relations Director Kristen Reiter. “If we can help them continue to take care of their teeth after they walk out of our door, we are helping them protect their smile.”

“Our goal is to have a long-term impact on their oral health,” explains Executive Director Jackie Barger. “We want to be their dental home and prevent them from having painful dental emergencies down the road.”

In addition to the oral hygiene kit, Children’s Smile Center has also received Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grants over the years for an x-ray machine and sterilization equipment.

We are so grateful to have Children’s Smile Center caring for some of the youngest residents in Taney and Stone counties,” said Skaggs Foundation President Meghan Connell. “They are providing caring, compassionate dental care and helping the children develop healthy, life-long habits.”

Children’s Smile Center serves a six-county area, with locations in Branson West, Ozark and Aurora.

In 2016, Children’s Smile Center served nearly 6,300 patients, 950 of which were residents of Taney or Stone counties.

Skaggs Legacy Endowment is a restricted endowment fund made possible by a generous gift from CoxHealth in 2013. Since the inception of Skaggs Legacy Endowment, funds have been dedicated to improving access to health care, supporting healthy lifestyles, child and family safety, dental care and mental health.
To learn more about Skaggs Legacy Endowment, how it is impacting our community, or information about applying, visit SkaggsFoundation.org or call 417-335-7340.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Skaggs Foundation awards 27 scholarships to area students

Skaggs Foundation made a $22,500 investment in the future of the health care industry this winter
Spring 2017 Scholarship Recipients
by awarding 27 scholarships to local students pursuing careers in the medical field. The scholarships are for the spring 2017 semester.
Among the 27 scholarship recipients, 20 are employees at Cox Medical Center Branson including Caitlin Dillon and Mairini Morales.
Dillon works at CoxHealth Urgent Care – Branson.
“In July, I graduated as an LPN and in January, I’m starting the 10-month journey to become an RN,” Dillon explained. “Once I graduate, I plan on returning to the emergency department where I 

started my career at Cox Medical Center Branson as an emergency multi-care technician.”
Dillon’s goal is to become a certified emergency nurse and learn to speak Spanish fluently 
Caitlin Dillon works at CoxHealth Urgent Care - Branson
so she may better communicate with the growing number of Spanish-speaking patients. Dillon said she chose a career in health care because the opportunity it provides her to give back to her community.
“Being able to help people heal, that’s an incredible thing to be a part of,” she said. “Having the support of Skaggs Foundation has helped me pursue the most fulfilling career.”
Morales is currently an obstetrical technician in the Women’s Center and working towards a bachelor in nursing degree which she anticipates completing in December 2018.
“I’ve always felt joy when I help others,” Morales said. “As a nurse, you are able to help patients when they are at their most vulnerable time. It is a privilege to care for others.”
Thanks to support from Skaggs Foundation, Morales has been able to pursue her dream.
“When I first returned to school, I didn’t qualify for any type of aid,” she said. “The Skaggs Foundation scholarship gave me the opportunity to begin my journey and make it possible so that I may return to school.”
“At Skaggs Foundation, we believe there is no better way to ensure the health care industry has a bright future in our community than by supporting education today,” said Skaggs Foundation President Meghan Connell.
Since its inception in 2002, Skaggs Foundation has awarded a total of $282,950 to students pursuing degrees in health care.
Students have until March 15 to apply for summer and fall semester scholarships. Summer semester scholarships are limited to spring semester award recipients. 
For more information about Skaggs Foundation or its scholarship program, visit skaggsfoundation.org.
Skaggs Foundation continues the tradition of caring established in 1950 by M.B. and Estella Skaggs who provided the financial support to establish the area’s first community-owned hospital. Today the Foundation, thanks to the generosity of its donors, supports and leads community initiatives that improve health and wellness in Taney and Stone counties.