GARDEN CITY, NY —
Nearly 100 Northwell Health volunteers from Cohen Children's Medical Center, Long Island Jewish Medical Center and North Shore University Hospital helped bring a collective smile to Nassau County and Queens children.
The collection of dentists, hygienists and other medical professionals participated in the Nassau County Dental Society's (NCDS) "Give Kids a Smile Day," which hosted 1,200 underserved and special needs children – ages 4-7 – from 16 schools on March 9 at the Cradle of Aviation Museum.
"When we started 'Give Kids a Smile' 15 years ago we had approximately 400 children attend the event," said Joseph Brofsky, DDM, section head of pediatric dentistry at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park and co-chair of Nassau's Give Kids a Smile Day. "Today we had a record 400 volunteers with over 1200 children. It's a great credit to our profession that we care so much about underserved children in our community and want to give back to those in need."
More than five million children have been served nationwide – 15,000 locally – since the event began in 2003 as part of National Children's Dental Access Day and National Children's Dental Health Month.
The 15th Nassau "Smile" event included complimentary screenings and fluoride varnish along with oral hygiene supplies to take home and lessons on how to maintain a healthy mouth. Northwell was one of several organizations which partnered with NCDS to make the event possible.
"We're reaching children at an early age when habits are forming," said Anastasia Schepers, a nutritionist at Cohen whose message of healthy eating was made possible by a grant from Kohl's. "If we can make the connection that what they eat and drink can help their health, I feel like I'm doing a good job."
# # #
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, more than 650 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 15,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.