Chris J. Wiant, M.P.H., Ph.D.: president and CEO of Caring for Colorado Foundation

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In response to your editorial ("A toothy grin for the dental coalition," 9/17/04), I would like to add my congratulations to the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition for its impressive work that resulted in the grant of $450,000 during three years from Caring for Colorado Foundation.

Caring for Colorado responded to the huge statewide unmet need for oral health services with a special five-year, $5 million oral health initiative. Our objectives are to strengthen the oral health safety net and to prevent the devastating consequences of oral disease in children.

We agreed with the coalition that there are many adults, children and families who do not have access to affordable oral health care. When we funded the planning effort proposed by the coalition, it was our hope that a viable project would emerge. Well, the coalition came through in an impressive way. Debi Harmon was determined and the coalition members were committed to succeed in improving oral health care in Northwest Colorado.

We are confident that the same enthusiasm will accompany the implementation of the program. Most important, low income, uninsured children from Moffat, Routt and Rio Blanco counties will have access to comprehensive oral health care. Caring for Colorado is pleased to be a part of this project. We commend this grass-roots effort and look forward to working with the coalition to create effective and sustainable oral health services for the region.

Sincerely,

Chris J. Wiant, M.P.H., Ph.D.

president and CEO

Caring for Colorado Foundation

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