Smiles for a Lifetime
The Surgeon General ranks oral healthcare as the number one most common chronic disease in children, five times greater than asthma. It is estimated that one-third of the children in South Carolina are in need of dental care; in the areas where Welvista serves, more than 75% of the children lack access to oral healthcare. For these children, the lack of oral healthcare and subsequent pain it creates impacts their ability to learn.
Smiles, a division of Welvista, offers children from limited-income families of South Carolina a dignified channel to access timely, effective, and quality oral healthcare services. The program operates four school-based centers in Allendale, Dillon, Manning, and Summerton, as well as a weekend center in Charleston that serves the tri-county area.
Using the Welvista model, Smiles has been supported by corporate partnerships and the creative use of existing resources to offer dental services that otherwise would be cost-prohibitive.
August 2008 - May 2009
- 3,640 students received dental services in the four Smiles school-based Smiles centers.
- 402 children served in the Charleston Smiles center January - May 2009 (weekends only).
- Smiles conducted back to school meetings for 2009 back to school year to enroll students in the Smiles program.
Welvista's Smiles initiative received the state Health Alliances Vanguard Award for the most innovative new healthcare program in 1999 by the South Carolina Hospital Association.
Georgia Famuliner, RN
Smiles for a Lifetime Operations Director
PO Box 221
Allendale, SC 29810