Through a $1.425MM grant from The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, CASS’ pediatric dental clinic (which previously served youth in the Murphy School District) added 10 new treatment chairs to expand its reach into other districts serving at-risk youth. Through this expansion, the Center is projected to serve 15,000 children by 2017.
The Parsons Center for Pediatric Dentistry at Murphy is 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.
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 the Center is located, poor dental health is an epidemic as nearly 50 percent of children live at or below the federal poverty level.