Tag Archives: dental deserts

Veteran reporter brings a fresh eye to the health beat

About Mary Otto

Mary Otto, a Washington, D.C.-based freelancer, is AHCJ's topic leader on oral health and the author of "Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America." She can be reached at mary@healthjournalism.org.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall via FlickrSmall towns like Littleton, Colo., may have a lot of history and charm, but often few dental practices catering to low-income residents. David Olinger of The Denver Post recently wrote about how one foundation is attempting to change that situation.

Photo: Jeffrey Beall via FlickrSmall towns like Littleton, Colo., may have a lot of history and charm, but often few dental practices catering to low-income residents. David Olinger of The Denver Post recently wrote about how one foundation is attempting to change that situation.

The Delta Dental Foundation has come up with an innovative approach to bringing care to Colorado’s “dental deserts.”

The nonprofit has launched a $3.3 million initiative that has provided 16 medical organizations in the state with the funding to buy dental equipment and hire dental hygienists to bring oral health services to places where they have been hard to find. The initiative, called the Colorado Medical-Dental Integration Project is targeting communities such as Littleton, where on a recent day, 9-year-old Nathan Martin visited a local medical clinic to receive a dental checkup and preventive care from a dental hygienist.

Reporter David Olinger (@dolingerdp) brought the story alive for readers of The Denver Post. Olinger, who describes himself as a “veteran reporter new to the health care beat,” has worked at the newspaper since 1997. Continue reading