Mobile Program staff honored for oral health work on Pine Ridge

Two of our Delta Dental of South Dakota employees were recently honored for their work to improve oral health on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Mary Mousseau and Phoebe Carlow, Oral Health Coordinators for our Mobile Program, are recipients of the 2017 Awards of Commendation from the South Dakota Dental Association. They were honored on May 20 at the SDDA Annual Session held in Sioux Falls.

What do Oral Health Coordinators do?

Mary and Phoebe work tirelessly to get parents, kids, school staff and the community excited about oral health. They work with clinicians to host preventive care clinics, provide patient navigation assistance to families – especially those who need surgery – and they offer oral health education throughout the Reservation.

Together, they’ve traveled 100,000 miles to reach 4,400 patients at 60 sites in 17 Pine Ridge communities. And this distance and dedication has made a difference.

The Impact 

When Phoebe and Mary began their work for the Delta Dental Mobile Program in 2013 as part of our Circle of Smiles project, nearly one-third of children seen by hygienists in Head Start and school programs on Pine Ridge were referred to surgery under general anesthesia.

Since the project began, the percentage of kids through age 9 on South Dakota reservations who had a dental visit increased 64%. On Pine Ridge, surgical referrals dropped to just 11%.

Thank you for making a difference!

Phoebe began her oral health career as a dental assistant in 1963. Mary is newer to the dental health world, but loves every second of serving South Dakota smiles! They both care passionately about helping people have healthier smiles and healthier lives.

Congratulations, Mary and Phoebe! We’re proud and happy for you both. Thank you for being part of our Delta Dental team!