Chandra Harward, a registered dental hygienist in the department of pediatric dentistry in the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and clinic coordinator of the Irving and Jeanne Tapper Pediatric Dental Clinic at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, was given the Push Pin Award from Catholic Charities Head Start Program for her extraordinary efforts in organizing dental exams for the Head Start children between the ages of 3 and 5.
Harward, working with Dr. Gerald Ferretti, chair of pediatric dentistry at Case, has started fluoride varnish treatments in the preschool children, which can prevent and reverse tooth decay in first teeth. After a child's teeth are examined, the flavored varnish is applied to the teeth with a tiny toothbrush-like applicator.
Catholic Charities has some 870 children enrolled in their Head Start Program. When parents enroll children in the program, dental and physical exams are part of the program's goal.
According to Michelle Curry, director of the Catholic Charities Head Start Program, "Chandra has been a saving grace."
Noting that some children are afraid of the dentist or have never seen one, Curry commended Harward on her kind manner, patience, sense of humor and the significant amount of time that she has contributed to making sure the Head Start children have a dental exam.
"She goes above and beyond by coming back to the centers to make sure all children get their dental exams," said Curry.
Harward received the award during the Parent Volunteer Appreciation Lunch on May 24 at the St. Augustine Health Campus on Detroit Road.
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