More than 5,000 underserved children and families in South Florida are expected to receive dental and eye care from two new clinics which recently opened through a collaboration of Kids In Distress of Broward and Palm Beach counties (KID) and Nova Southeastern University (NSU).
The 12-chair Kid Dental Clinic has 10 child-friendly exam stations and two private rooms for check-ups and diagnostics, preventive and restorative care and digital radiography.
The Eye Care Institute at KID has eight fully equipped optometry exam rooms, optical laboratory and an optical dispensary where kids can choose from a variety of customizable frames.
“We recognize that there are children and families in our community who do not have access to dental and eye care, which are the most important preventative health services,” said KID President and CEO Thomas Tomczyk. “Thanks to the efforts of Nova Southeastern University and our supporters, we are meeting a critical need by providing comprehensive care to those most vulnerable in our community.”
The two facilities, catering to children from 6 months to 18 years of age and their families, are staffed with third- and fourth-year dental and optometry students and residents at NSU, supervised by faculty members. They provide preventive and comprehensive dental and eye care.
“This is a great leap forward in terms of providing critical health care services to children who don’t normally get access to a dentist or optometrist,” said Dr. Stephen Abel, NSU’s College of Dental Medicine’s assistant dean of extramural programs, who helped establish the dental clinic.
“Often children do not know that they have a visual problem, which may be the very issue that affects their school performance,” added Dr. David S. Loshin, dean of the NSU College of Optometry. “By providing valuable services to these children, we are offering a solution in empowering them to develop their full academic potential.”
The facilities accept various insurance options including Medicaid, Florida Healthy Kids, MCNA Healthy Kids and ADI Molina Plan (DentaQuest), while offering affordable fees for the uninsured.
Kid Dental Clinic and The Eye Care Institute at Kid were made possible through a $100,000 grant from Health Foundation of South Florida and support from several healthcare organizations and charities.
The clinics are located at Kids In Distress, 819 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors, in Broward County. For more information or to schedule appointments, call the Kid Dental Clinic at 954-567-5650 and The Eye Care Institute at Kid at 954-567-5640. To donate to the clinics, visit www.kidinc.org and click the “Donate Now” button.