South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Free oral health screenings at Family Health Center

 


Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center, Pittsburgh Mercy’s integrated health care home and primary care center, welcomes the public to attend “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Bodies!” a free community health and wellness event will take place, rain or shine, on Wednesday, June 8, from noon to 3 p.m., at 249 South 9th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 (South Side).

The event is open to the public. No insurance or appointments are necessary.

In partnership with Pittsburgh Mercy, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), and the ADHA’s Institute for Oral Health (IOH), more than 45 licensed dental hygienists from across the United States will volunteer their time at the “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Bodies!” event to complete free oral health screenings, fluoride varnishes, and education around the connection between oral health and other aspects of physical health.

Dental hygienists are licensed, trained, oral health care professionals who specialize not only in disease prevention, detection, and treatment, but also in the education and promotion of holistic health through good oral health hygiene practices, including teeth brushing, flossing, cleanings, and exams.

Numerous published research studies have shown poor oral hygiene habits, including tobacco use, can lead to gum disease. Additionally, gum disease is a risk factor for other physical health problems, including heart and lung diseases, and diabetes, as well as premature and low birthweight babies.

Pittsburgh will be host to the ADHA’s annual meeting, June 8-14. With more than 1,800 dental hygienists registered to participate, it is the largest assembly of dental hygiene professionals in North America. The hygienists’ participation in “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Bodies!” is a part of the ADHA’s 2016 Community Service Day. According to the ADHA, more dental hygienists volunteered to participate in this year’s event in Pittsburgh than in previous years.

In addition to oral health screenings, fluoride varnishes, and education, the “Healthy Teeth, Healthy Bodies!” event also will feature an obstacle course run by personal trainers from Pittsburgh Mercy’s In SHAPE (Individual Self-Health Action Plan for Empowerment) program.

 Representatives from Pittsburgh Mercy’s Nature-Related Programming will be on hand to discuss the benefits of gardening and teach individuals how to plant and grow herbs.

 Participants can also receive free blood pressure screenings, health and wellness education, and participate in activities including “Walk with a Doc,” a brief walk with Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center team members on the South Side portion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, and bingo hosted by one of the primary care physicians.

 Pittsburgh Mercy benefits coordinators will be available to provide information to eligible individuals regarding SOAR, the Social Security Income/Social Security Disability Income (SSI/SSDI) Outreach, Access, and Recovery program.

 Representatives from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will offer free cooking demonstrations and teach people how to eat healthy while living on a budget. The Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, the Traveler’s Aid Society, and the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh also will participate in the event.

 To add to the festivities, a DJ will provide entertainment and host a dance party.

 Light snacks will be provided while supplies last.

 Individuals in attendance will have the opportunity to win one of several gift baskets and other prizes, awarded at random times throughout the event.

 Parking on the South Side is limited. Those attending should consider taking public transit or carpooling to the event.

When Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center opened at 249 South 9th Street on the South Side in May 2012, it had one full-time physician and one certified physician assistant to serve the health care needs of a few hundred individuals. It now serves more than 4,000 unique individuals annually, many of whom have complex physical and behavioral health care needs.

 Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. It also delivers primary health care services to individuals on the North Side, on the South Side, and in the Glen Hazel and Wilkinsburg communities via Pittsburgh Mercy’s mobile medical unit.

The mobile medical unit locations and hours vary. See Pittsburgh Mercy’s website (www.pittsburghmercy.org) for details. Appointments are strongly encouraged.

 For more information, call Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center at 412-697-3260 or visit http://www.pittsburghmercy.org

 

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