Kansas—SEK Smiles is the Pediatric Dental Service provided by Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK), a Federally Qualified Health Center. Since their inception CHC/SEK has been dedicated to improving the health and wellness for children from all walks of life.
Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) opened its doors in 1997 on the second floor of a 90-year-old elementary school building as a community outreach of Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center, the hospital Mother Sheridan founded in 1903. Our purpose was to ensure that children were “ready to learn” by providing physicals and immunizations no matter their parents ability to pay. It was a mission of love in an area of critical need—a community that continues to have some of the highest rates of childhood poverty in Kansas. In 2003, CHC/SEK became an independent organization with 11 employees that cared for 3,300 patients. Today, as a Federally Qualified Health Center, there are nearly 700 employees providing care to over 70,000 patients across Southeast Kansas and northern Oklahoma.
We transform healthcare by addressing and removing barriers we all face in finding quality healthcare. We are driven by the simple desire to provide compassionate care for everyone who comes to us regardless of circumstances. Our growth has come from listening to our communities and providing services that truly make a difference. Over the we years along with health and dental care we have added behavioral health and addiction treatment services, mammography, women’s health services and more.
Recognizing that dental health for children was essential for their physical health and emotional wellbeing, in 2004 operating with second hand dental equipment, and one volunteer dentist one day per week dental services were established within the scope of CHC/SEK services.
In 2005, supported by the local dental community, we moved into a 5,000 sq. ft. facility furnished with equipment donated by the UMKC Dental School. A statewide initiative to establish “safety net” dental clinics followed with our new dental program a model. Foundation funding provided everything needed to provide quality care regardless of the patient’s circumstances. We proudly announced plans to screen 5,000 children in our first five months; we saw 15,000 with one out of three with visible decay. We were part of a NIH-funded study to determine how best to improve the oral health of rural children and recognized nationally by Head Start with their highest award.
Our pediatric dental program – now the largest in the state -- is an active dental outreach program that provides screenings, fluoride varnish applications, sealants, cleanings, and restorative work in schools, childcare facilities and Head Starts throughout southeast Kansas. To ensure the needed expertise, we supported the training of one of our own dentists who became the first such pediatric dentist in rural Kansas. And this is just the beginning.
As a patient-led board, we are committed to transforming lives, sustaining communities and providing great jobs. Our mission has always been to do all the good that we can, for the people we can, in all the ways that we can, for as we can. Everyone at CHC/SEK strives to live these values every day. Making a difference makes a difference to us.
Whatever your need, the answer is “yes” at CHC/SEK
|Name||NYU Langone Dental Medicine- Pittsburg, KS|
|Number||Number is PED3003|
|Description||You may use the name and number noted above to locate this site in the ADEA Pass Application.|
|Total # of operatories||21|