Women of Wisdom Tri-Cities works to close gap of dental health in Black and Brown communities

RICHLAND, WA – Women of Wisdom Tri-Cities, or WOW, a non-profit organization lead by diverse Tri-Cities women, are partnering with ARCORA, The Foundation of Delta Dental of Washington, to bridge the disparities between Black and Brown communities access to dental hygiene.

“Many Black and Brown communities or low-income communities do not have the resources or access to dental healthcare.” said Chaune Fitzgerald, one of the founders of Women of Wisdom and CEO.

According to PEW Research, Black and Brown children see a dentist less often than white children.

ARCORA chose WOW to partner with them for the cause of helping lower-income and underserved communities get better dental hygiene.

“Oral health is a social justice issue. To ensure equal opportunity, we must work to improve access to dental care for vulnerable and at-risk populations, including lower-income children and families living in underserved areas. We must commit to preventing this disease and strive for 100% access and zero disparities.” said ARCORA on their website.

ARCORA also cites that tooth decay and gum disease can lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, risks for heart attack, and high blood pressure.

“We saw during the pandemic that African Americans were dying at higher rates especially because of their underlying health conditions like diabetes or heart issues.” said Fitzgerald.

Last year, Black American COVID deaths were 180 per 100,000 compared to White Americans, 150 per 100,000.

According to ARCORA, around 22% of Medicaid-insured adults have dental coverage.

The program partnered with ARCORA will provide opportunities for meetings that are open to the community and dental experts to discuss the importance of dental health and how it affects your heart health and overall body.

“We invite all community members and any health experts to join us.” said Fitzgerald.

Discussions in these meetings will be taken back to ARCORA in order to find a pathway to more healthcare coverage and accessibility to dental healthcare for low-income and underserved communities.

You can also be on the lookout for a Smile-Mobile coming this summer; that will be a mobile dental clinic.

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Article Source: Fox 11