"Providing equitable access to orthodontic care to improve the self-confidence, health and resilience of underserved youth throughout Oregon"
What’s happening with this project?
The Oregon Health and Science University Community Research Hub and Evaluation Core, which are a part of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute, are undertaking a four-year project to evaluate the long-term impacts of A Smile for Kids’ braces program on the health and equity outcomes of the youth in the program and their families.
What is the purpose?
Anecdotally, we know A Smile for Kids makes a big impression on the lives of the youth in our program. Graduation rates are higher, self-esteem is improved, and bullying is reduced. We’re partnering with OHSU to go far beyond anecdotal evidence to demonstrate our long-term impact on social determinants of health not only of our youth, but also of their family members. These results will help us prioritize elements of our orthodontics program that are most valuable, and tell the story of our value more effectively as we grow our program to more areas of the state. Our results will also help inform other organizations about the effectiveness of health interventions on a lifetime of outcomes.
What will the program study?
This project will use both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate our impact. Researchers will mine our database, conduct interviews with current and past youth and conduct a survey of former participants. They will track 20 outcomes including graduation rates, employment options, self-esteem, community connectedness, and more.
How is the project funded?
This project is estimated to cost about $30,000, though the value to the organization stands to be much greater because it will arm A Smile for Kids with the information needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the program. This is critical for large grant-funding and major donor fundraising purposes. All the funding for this project will come through grants and donations to A Smile for Kids.
How can I help?
Help us fund this critical work. Your support will come back to the organization ten-fold by proving the value of our work, and demonstrating the role of orthodontics in long-term health equity outcomes for underserved youth in Oregon.