Jacksonville hospital receives thousands to fund purchase of pediatric dental equipment | Local News

The Christ Mother Frances Hospital in Jacksonville is the latest organization to benefit from donations from the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club, which has donated $5,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network.

The funds enabled life-changing pediatric dental equipment to be delivered to Jacksonville Hospital’s surgical teams, reducing the need to travel to surrounding urban cities for pediatric dental care.

The impact the equipment will have will resonate with the entire community, allowing privileged local dentists at Christ Mother Frances Hospital to now perform surgical dental procedures on pediatric patients who are under sedation.

Barry Lofquist, manager of Jacksonville Hospital, said it is necessary to provide the equipment because if dental conditions, such as cavities, are left untreated in children, it can lead to serious infections of the gums and spread to other parts of the teeth. body and in rare cases, can be fatal if left untreated.

“We are very grateful to the Jacksonville Kiwanis Club for making this possible and for enabling us to continue to provide this service to the children in our community,” said Lofquist.

Prior to the new equipment, pediatric patients requiring extensive dental work or surgery had to leave the area or visit a local dental office for multiple procedures. Traveling outside the region can add to an already stressful situation and can be challenging for local families.

Lofquist said the hospital previously offered dental care similar to what is now offered because of the $5,000, but it had to be discontinued due to old equipment. From that point on, Lofquist said children simply weren’t getting the care they needed because there were no other options to go to.

“The generosity of the Kiwanis Club allows us to buy a new machine and resume that care to the community,” Lofquist said.

Lacey Dover, head of the RN team at the hospital, said the machine is similar to what they do in a dental office, but the difference in the hospital is how pediatric patients receive care by going under anesthesia to perform dental work. to get. At the hospital, anesthesiologists are available to assist hospital staff and local caregivers using the equipment.

Because pediatric dentistry patients are children, some of them cannot tolerate undergoing procedures while awake, Lofquist explained, adding that what can be done during a series of painful and uncomfortable dental visits in one visit to the operating room under anesthesia. can be done.

The Kiwanis Club is a national organization whose mission is to help children and give back to the community. Christina Mosier, program manager for the Children’s Miracle Network, said the Jacksonville club partnered with the Children’s Miracle Network to serve the community and chose to give the money to them because they knew the dollars would stay local and help children. .

“None of this would be possible without the relationship with our hospital system, because we go to them and say, ‘Jacksonville, what do you need for our kids?’ So we’re working directly with the hospital to see where the need is greatest, because that’s where we really need to put that money’, says Mosier.

Last year, the Kiwanis club donated a newborn breathing system to the emergency department at Jacksonville Hospital. Since the donation, Lofquist has added that the hospital could pursue and achieve hospital ER pediatric readiness status. As a result, the hospital became the first hospital in the state of Texas to receive the designation and became a pediatric care destination.

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