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Pierce County Water Supply 101

 

“Where does our water come from?” The ground? Reservoirs? The kitchen faucet? The store? Brad Harp, Water Resources Manager at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD), often starts his discussion with this seemingly simple question.  He then deftly leads his audience through the complex and fascinating description of our county’s water quality supply and its journey from source to our homes and businesses.

Brad engaged our Pierce County Oral Health Coalition and other community attendees on April 13, 2016 with detailed geology, chemical composition and filtration information and facts about our local water, including dispelling myths and misconceptions about drinking water throughout our county. We learned that our water contains many naturally occurring minerals and chemicals, with the composition uniquely dependent on the geology of its location. The audience also learned about treatment history of water monitoring, from sand filters used by the Romans 2,000 years ago to 1962 when the U.S. Public Health Service first adopted drinking water standards, to more current technological advances in water quality treatment methods.

The audience came away with a clearer understanding that “drinking water” is infinitely more complex than just oxygen and hydrogen, and with a deeper appreciation of the high quality water monitoring and treatment that takes place in Pierce County.

To request more information or a presentation on this topic, please contact:

Brad D. Harp, L.Hg

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department

Water Resources Program Manager

(253) 798-2851

BHarp@tpchd.org

For helpful information about drinking water and wells, go to: http://www.tpchd.org/environment/drinking-water-wells/

For the latest TPCHD information on lead, go to: http://www.tpchd.org/environment/healthy-environment/lead/

School kids get oral health goody bags

Dental decay is a prevalent childhood disease in the USA, responsible for many missed or unfocused days in school due to pain and required treatment. Oral health is sometimes overlooked but is vitally important to a child’s development and ability to concentrate and stay in school.

To put a dent in this trend and support healthy smiles for all children in Pierce County, the Pierce County Oral Health Coalition teamed up in February to assemble over 800 oral health goody bags for kids! Using PCOHC member-donated supplies, each goody bag contained an age appropriate toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and valuable information on how to maintain great oral health and hygiene.

We delivered the bags to St. Leo’s Food Connection in Tacoma. Kevin Glackin-Coley, Executive Director at the St. Leo’s Food Connection is thrilled to be able to share these oral health items with the many 100’s of Clover Park and Tacoma school district students (K-12) who receive a nutritious weekly meal as part of St. Leo’s weekend Backpack Program.

Fortunately, dental decay is nearly 100% preventable and with the necessary tools, good hygiene is a brush and floss away. Nutrition also significantly affects dental health and hence, partnering with St. Leo’s healthy weekend food program was a natural for the oral health coalition.  Project participant organizations included Bates Technical College/Dental Assisting School, Community Health Care, Coordinated Care, Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children, Pierce County Community Connections, Pierce County Dental Society, Puget Sound ESD, SeaMar Community Health, and Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department/ABCD and School Nurse programs.

Find additional information about St. Leo’s food connection programs, as well as helpful oral health resources for children:

Pierce County Oral Health Coalition: www.pcohc.org

St. Leo’s Food Connection Backpack Program: http://www.foodconnection.org/pages/backpack.htm

Access to Baby and Child Dentistry: http://www.tpchd.org/health-wellness-1/abcd-access-to-baby-child/

Pierce County Library System: http://www.piercecountylibrary.org/kids-teens/parents-caregivers/early-learning/children-oral-health.htm

National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center: http://mchoralhealth.org/toolbox/families.php

WA Dental Service Foundation: https://www.deltadentalwa.com/our-foundation/educational-materials.aspx

 

Free dental and other services at October 2015 Project Homeless Connect

Project Homeless Connect returns on October 28, 2015 but at a new location…the Tacoma Armory, 715 S. 11th Street, Tacoma, WA. The Pierce County Dental Society, along with Bates College Dental Assisting School and other Pierce County Oral Health Coalition partners, will provide much needed dental assessments and treatment triage. Other free services include wellness exams, vaccinations, vision resources, health insurance enrollment, haircuts, information regarding career/jobs and housing and more.

Doors open 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

PCOHC members interested in helping in the dental area should email pcds@pcdentists.org.

For more information and to share with the community as appropriate, click here for the event flyer: PHC Flyer Armory 2015.10.28

“What’s trending in oral health” symposium October 2015

You already know that oral health is directly linked to overall health and well-being. Pierce County’s “What’s Trending in Oral Health” Symposium will help you stay on top of the trends, gain new insight and relevant, timely information about medical, social and other factors that impact oral health. Join us in Tacoma for this educational morning on Friday, October 2, 2015.

  • Professional, engaging speakers
  • Useful information in working with patients, students, community members
  • Four (4) CEU credits
  • Affordable
  • Local and convenient @ Bates Technical College South Campus, 2201 S. 78th Street, Tacoma, WA 98409
  • Sponsor exhibitors with valuable information
  • Detailed speaker, topic, directions and registration information found here:PCOHC 2015 Oral Health Symposium_Registration_Flyer [2015.09.10]

Who Should Attend?
• Dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants and front office staff.
• School and preschool health educators, nurses, and health aids.
• Primary care physicians, pediatricians, ARNPs, and PAs.
• Registered nurses, LPNs, and nursing assistants.
• Anyone interested in oral and overall health.

Don’t miss out! Register by 9/24/15 or earlier by completing/submitting:PCOHC 2015 Oral Health Symposium_Registration_Flyer [2015.09.10]

See you there!

Your colleagues at cropped-PCOHC-Logo.png

Coalition partners provide free dental care, education and resources

A little community flyer goes a long way...

We were so blessed to have received a flyer about the free dental clinic. These people really care enough to make sure that all would be served. The amazing staff worked together to help each member of the family. What an awesome experience for all!” (Pastor C.R. Adams, New Christ Temple of Deliverance, Tacoma, WA whose staff helped make appointments for and brought a new Pierce County family of four to the 7/31/15 clinic)

Arriving by bus, foot and carpool, over 20 Pierce County adults and some children had huge reason to smile after receiving compassionate, free dental services on Friday 7/31/15 at Bates Technical College’s Dental Assisting program facilities.  Via the wonderful Pierce County Dentists Care program, five Pierce County dentists and an entire team of Bates College’s dental assisting staff and students took x-rays, performed various dental services, alleviated dental pain and problems, and answered patient questions all the while demonstrating how this valuable downtown Tacoma clinic is a caring, oral health learning environment. Jennifer Bunch (Pierce County Dental Society) has coordinated the free dental clinics for years. She expertly welcomed and put each patient at ease, and then connected them to community resources for follow up care as necessary. As for that new Pierce County family of four…they have applied for Washington Apple Health coverage and are on a path to improved oral health.

For more information about the PC Dentist Care program (for uninsured Pierce County residents), call 253-272-1101 or if in dental pain, call 2-1-1 for a dental referral.

Dental community provides free dental care at March 2015 Project Homeless Connect

During the Spring Project Homeless Connect (PHC), the Pierce County Dental Society and Oral Health Coalition members combined talent and services at Puyallup Fairgrounds on March 31, 2015 to provide dental care to community members in need. Participating organizations include Bates and Clover Park Technical College Dental Assisting Schools, Lindquist Dental Clinic for Children, Medical Teams International, Pierce College Dental Hygiene School, and many other private dentists.

The dental section of the event provided $30,234 in donated dental care that included screening 67 individuals and treating 23 in the dental hygiene area. The Medical Teams International dental van, with its volunteer professional dental staff, provided twenty-three patients with additional treatment.  Dental service area volunteers also referred PHC patients for follow up exams and community resources. The Pierce County Dental Society wishes to acknowledge all the oral health volunteers, partners and community resources who worked together to help those in need of dental services. Photos of some of the wonderful dental volunteers are shown below!

Planning for the next Project Homeless Connect is underway for late summer-early Fall 2015. For those interested in volunteering in the dental services area, please contact Cheryl Jenkins at pcds@pcdentists.org.