Phoenix (April 22, 2014) - Central Arizona Shelter Services, Inc. (CASS) received a multi-year grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation for the renovation and operation of its Murphy Kids Dental Clinic. The clinic is the dental home for at-risk children in the Murphy School District in south Phoenix. The $1.4 million award will enable the pediatric dental clinic to triple its capacity over three years. By adding 10 new treatment chairs and extending the dental clinic’s reach into other school districts, the Clinic will serve 15,000 unique children by 2017.
More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related problems. In Arizona, more than 40 percent of low-income children lack access to dental care, the highest percentage of any U.S. state. In the Murphy School District, where nearly 50 percent of children live at or below the federal poverty level, poor dental health is an epidemic.
The Bob & Renee Parsons Center of Excellence for Pediatric Dentistry at Murphy will be the first non-profit, pediatric specialty clinic in Maricopa County. The Center will serve children living in poverty who are not eligible for Medicaid coverage at no cost, as well as those with AHCCCS-only coverage. Children insured through the state’s Medicaid program often exhibit the same degree of poor oral health as those children who are uninsured due to the lack of community dentists who accept AHCCCS coverage. By treating all siblings in a family, both insured and un-insured, the Center will be able to normalize dental care.
“The new Center will not only be able to provide children with ongoing dental care such as cleanings, fluoride, sealants, fillings, and one-on-one oral health education, it will also offer root canals, braces, and no-cost surgery to repair cleft lips and palates, impacted teeth, and other congenital or trauma-induced malformations,” said CASS Dental Director Dr. Kris Volcheck, DDS, MBA. “The Center will truly be a Center of Excellence.”
“Providing quality care for children is a guiding principle of our Foundation,” said Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Bob Parsons. “Renee and I believe that every child, regardless of their current situation, background or other factors, is entitled to the medical care he or she needs.”
“Through our Foundation’s partnership with CASS we believe we can help thousands of at-risk children find their smiles and live healthier lives,” added Renee Parsons.
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation’s grant will enable CASS to renovate its current space in the Murphy School District No. 21/Phoenix Rotary 100 Education and Health Center. The funds will also allow CASS to hire the clinical and support staff needed to operate the Center during its growth phase.
Through a collaboration with Maricopa Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center of Dental Medicine in New York, two residents in pediatric dentistry will join the Center in July 2014. The addition will help ensure that all treatments are administered under the supervision of a Pediatric Specialist.
CASS opened in 1984 in response to the community’s need to provide emergency shelter for central Arizona’s homeless population. Today, CASS is Arizona’s largest shelter and supportive services provider, serving nearly 7,000 unique individuals annually. The CASS Dental Clinic for the Homeless, was opened by Dr. Kris Volcheck, in 2001, and serves over 5,000 unduplicated homeless adults and children annually. It is the third largest provider of dental services to Veterans in the U.S. Learn more at www.cassaz.org.
About The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation
The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation inspires hope by providing critical funding at critical times to communities striving to make a difference. The Foundation primarily focuses on issues in the greater Phoenix area. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation believes every person is entitled to an education, good nutrition, medical care, a stress-free, happy environment and the hope that they too, will share in the American Dream. The Foundation provides funding to non-profit organizations that are successfully addressing these essential needs. The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation is also committed to the children of Haiti, helping to grow and improve schools, medical services and overall well-being for communities in rural Haiti through the Hope for Haiti organization.