Governor Granholm has proclaimed Friday, February 21 as "Give Kids a Smile Day" recognizing the contribution of hundreds of Michigan dentists who will provide free dental services to low income children across the state that day. The volunteering dentists are members of the Michigan Dental Association (MDA). This is the inaugural "Give Kids a Smile" program, sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). Dentists throughout the U.S. are donating their services that day to children who, because of economic reasons, don't have access to dental care. Governor Granholm also recognized February as Children's Dental Health Month.
MDA President John Buchheister, DDS said, "Although the Give Kids a Smile project will help thousands of children across the U.S., we also want to deliver the message that the dental profession can't solve the access problem alone, and that for every child we care for on that day, hundreds, even thousands more will continue to suffer until dental health care becomes a priority funding issue."
The State of Michigan proclamation reads:
On behalf of the citizens of Michigan, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm hereby proclaims February 2003, and February 21, 2003 as Children's Dental Health Month and Give Kids a Smile Day.
Whereas, the continued progress of the State of Michigan is, to a large measure, dependent upon the total good health of its children who are the future of this great state; and
Whereas, total good health, both physical and mental, is enhanced through good dental health habits learned early and reinforced throughout life; and
Whereas, Michigan's lowest income children are the most susceptible to poor oral hygiene due to a lack of education and access to quality dental health care; and
Whereas, the Michigan Dental Association and its member dentists are participating in the first-ever "Give Kids a Smile Program," initiated by the American Dental Association, to educate, assess and improve the oral hygiene among Michigan's most vulnerable population; and
Whereas, the Michigan Dental Association, throughout its long and distinguished history, has promoted programs in support of good dental health habits for young people to prevent dental disease;
and now therefore be it Resolved, that I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February, 2003 as Children's Dental Health Month and February 21, 2003 as Give Kids a Smile Day in Michigan.