CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University graduate students have helped the Boys & Girls Club of Albany secure a grant to fund a dental clinic that will provide low-cost care to local children.

Students Alynn Vienot, Chantell James, Stacy Dwyane-Johnson and Alison Olson wrote a grant to the Oregon Community Foundation that secured $117,500 to benefit Boys & Girls Club of Albany's new dental clinic, scheduled to open in 2011. The students prepared the grant as part of a project in Nancy Seifert's graduate-level public health class.

The grant is a one-time capital expenditure to develop the clinic and will provide matching funds for a coordinator, bilingual assistant and dentists to cover days when volunteer providers cannot come to the clinic.

According to the Boys & Girls Club, tooth decay in young children is on the rise for the first time in 40 years. A lack of insurance, inadequate education about the value of preventive care, and limited access to transportation are all cited as reasons for the increase.

About 1,600 patients will be served annually by the new clinic. Children who are referred from schools will also be treated. One of the program's goals is to increase enrollments in the Oregon Healthy Kids insurance program through the Oregon Health Plan.

For information on the Boys & Girls Club of Albany, contact Carly Gerig at 541-926-6666 or

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Nancy Seifert, 541-737-2323