Healthy Kids Outreach Program
HKOP Resources Provided at Schools = Helps Douglas County children be their happiest and healthiest selves
Mercy Foundation has always been committed to helping improve the health of adults and children in Douglas County. For the last two decades, one of the leading ways the Foundation has pursued this goal to benefit the local youth population has been the Healthy Kids Outreach Program, or HKOP.
HKOP is dedicated to helping kids grow into happy, healthy and productive adults, a goal it works toward through the following three primary activities:
DENTAL SCREENINGS AND TREATMENT
In 2011, Mercy Foundation, through HKOP, began to establish school-based dental clinics, offering young students free dental screenings, sealants and fluoride varnishes to help prevent cavities. Students are given a dental report card to share with their parents and are given dental kits (toothbrush, toothpaste and floss) to encourage healthy home dental care habits. The program is made possible by generous support from Oregon Community Foundation, Ford Family Foundation, Ronald McDonald Charities, the Walmart Foundation and Advantage Dental Plan.
Douglas County students learn how to make healthy choices through HKOP’s comprehensive outreach education program in area schools. Teaching youth the fundamentals of personal and dental hygiene, nutrition, exercise, heart health, communicable disease prevention and character development provides the foundation for building healthier communities in the future.
CONNECTION TO MEDICAL AND BEHAVIORAL CARE
About half of Douglas County children and families live at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guideline, and an equal percentage of local children do not benefit from health insurance coverage. In addition to financial barriers, many families face transportation challenges.
HKOP is helping overcome these barriers to needed services by helping connect families to appropriate community health care resources for their children where it is most convenient for them to receive them – in their schools.
Looking ahead, HKOP’s goals include:
- Have both vans fully updated/outfitted to provide exceptional preventative dental health services due to Covid-19
- Adding back in sealant services
- Improve consent form return rate by adding consents as part of the school’s electronic registration process
- Expand community sites to reach students, such as distance learners, who were unable to receive care at a school site have access to care
- Return to in-person dental learning lab and provide digital education for hybrid/remote learners
Health Awareness Education and Health Resource Nurses
- Provide 3 RN Health Resource Educators
- Organize nurse positions by location in the county
- Continue to collaborate with Evergreen to expand Telehealth services in Douglas County schools.
- Be the resource for health awareness education for all Douglas County schools
- Provide education series for both nursing and SNAP-Ed by in person and/ digital format
- Return to the in person menu of services for both nursing and SNAP-Ed including cafeteria support, school parent nights, etc.
Important Facts about HKOP
HKOP Dental has provided 56,000 Douglas County children with oral health care and assisted 2,800 students receive care from a dentist for additional treatment.
HKOP nurses have taught over 325,000 health lessons to K-12 students and made 667 connection to care for other more acute medical services.