Mon Health Department to provide dental services in Preston

KINGWOOD – The Preston County Health Department (PCHD) will be partnering with the Smile Express next summer.

Smile Express is the Monongalia County Health Department’s (MCHD) mobile dental program.  It focuses on services for school-aged children and pregnant women who need  dental care. The mobile dentist office currently partners with schools in Braxton, Harrison and Lewis Counties.

“They want to partner with Preston County Schools for this service,” Preston Health Department Director V.J. Davis  said. He said less than half the children approved for dental services under Medicaid go to a dentist.

Davis said Dr. Dan Carrier, a dentist at MCHD, applied for and was approved for a $13,000  grant that has tentatively been approved.  The grant will pay for  the mobile dental office come to Preston County six times during the summer. Davis said the county commission said Smile Express could set up on county property.

Davis said the program does not compete with local dentists. Smile Express, “provides X-rays and cleanings.  If further work is needed they refer them to a local dentist.”

Beginning July 1, a new food handling code will require establishments serving food to the public to have a certified food handler for each shift. The individual can be certified through either a health department or have a national certification. Non- profits will be exempt, according to Davis.

To be certified for a three-year period, food handlers will be required to attend a four-hour class and pass the Safe Food Handling Practices test. The class will cost $75.

Renewing the three-year certification will cost $35 and require the individual to pass a second test, Davis said.  He said restaurants, fast food services, and groceries that make and sell prepared food must all comply with the code.

In other business, board members voted to renew the county’s harm reduction contract with Mon County. The program provides needle exchange services for injection drug users.  It allows people to bring their used needles for safe disposal and be provided with new needles.

It also provides information about drug treatment and prevention services and prevents the spread of HIV and hepatitis C and other health complications.

The next meeting of the Preston County Board of Health will be Jan. 8.

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