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Assistance League of Portland uses micro-business model to generate funds

for low-income children's clinic. New guide to low-income dental clinics in the upper Willamette Valley

PORTLAND, Ore., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Cavities, infected teeth, gum disease, extractions, root canals -- the very words give us a slight case of the shivers, usually all the incentive we need to regularly visit our dentists for preventive maintenance.

Upper Willamette Valley and Portland-area residents can now find free or low-cost dental care, thanks to a new brochure published by the Assistance League of Portland(R) in cooperation with the Coalition of Community Health Clinics and the Northwest Health Foundation. Entitled Where to Turn: A Low-Income Dental Care Guide, the free brochure lists dental clinics located throughout the Portland area and also in Gresham, Milwaukie, Oregon City, Cornelius, Beaverton, Woodburn and Salem. The brochure was made possible, in part, by a grant from Northwest Health Foundation.

For 44 years, the Assistance League of Portland has underwritten dental services through volunteer-staffed micro-businesses retail stores to fund dental care for low-income children. At its Children's Dental Center, located at 4701 S.E. Bush St. on Portland's east side, Portland Public School children from kindergarten through twelfth grade who qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches, are not on welfare and do not have other dental insurance, receive dental exams, x-rays and fillings. Many of the children, who come from many ethnic backgrounds, have never seen a dentist before.

The dental center is the region's only school-based free dental care clinic servicing low-income children from Portland Public schools.

Dental problems are five times more common in children than asthma. Although eight million kids lack health care, three times as many -- more than 25 million -- don't have dental care. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported in September 2007 that 26.75 percent of children in poor families saw a dentist annually, while 57.9 percent of those from high-income families did.

Brochures and other materials are also available at the Assistance League of Portland Metro's resale stores and headquarters 4000 S.W. 117th Street, Beaverton, OR 97005, 503-526-9300. The store is open Monday to Saturday please call for hours.

To receive the brochure and for more information contact: Assistance League Board Member Jan Dockstader at 503-201-6366 or Assistance League volunteer Mara Woloshin,, 503-241-3834 days, 503-310-4504 all hours.

SOURCE Assistance League of Portland
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