Special Projects Fund

Grantee Name

Sunset Park Health Council, Inc. (Lutheran Family Health Centers)

Funding Area

Special Projects Fund

Publication Date

July 2013

Grant Amount


Grant Date:

December 1, 2009 – November 30, 2010

For more than 40 years, Lutheran Family Health Centers (LFHC) has provided comprehensive primary and dental care to ethnically diverse, medically underserved neighborhoods around New York City.

When budget cuts forced the City to eliminate its oral health program (OHP) in 2008, LFHC stepped in to mitigate the potentially catastrophic effect of the move. In operation since 1903, OHP was serving approximately 17,000 of the City’s most vulnerable children at the time of its closure.

In 2009, NYHealth awarded LFHC a grant to offset acquisition and startup costs for 12 of the 46 OHP dental clinics based in City public schools, and to make necessary investments in equipment, infrastructure, and health information technology.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Achieved 100% participation in dental treatment from all children enrolled in the program;
  • Continued to educate principals, parent coordinators, teachers, and social workers at school dental clinics about dental health through written materials and one-on-one meetings;
  • Conducted numerous assemblies that included demonstrations of brushing techniques and prevention and nutritional guidelines;
  • Implemented Sealant Day at each of the schools. As of November 30, 2010, the dentist/hygienist team had placed more than 3,000 sealants;
  • Hired two full-time equivalent dental school health navigators, fluent in Cantonese/Mandarin and Spanish respectively, to assist with coordination of care, follow-up, questions, and inquiries; and
  • Worked with parent coordinators and school health nurses on a daily basis to increase enrollment in the dental school health program.