3:02 PM: We’re at Madison Middle School, where Mayor McGinn will be speaking momentarily as part of an announcement that dental care will be provided for some Seattle Public Schools students starting next year. The news release that’s been provided explains that the money comes from the Families and Education Levy passed by voters in 2011, and Neighborcare Health – whose CEO is also scheduled to speak – will be the provider. Neighborcare already runs clinics at some SPS campuses. We’ll add any West Seattle-specific details that emerge in the briefing.
3:15 PM: “You can’t learn when your teeth hurt,” the mayor noted in the briefing (which we are recording on video). Also speaking: Pat Sander from the school district, who notes, “In recent years, we’ve become much more aware of the importance of dental health, and the toll it may be taking on student attendance.” She says this will be offered at elementary and middle schools. Mark Secord, CEO of Neighborcare, says they are “thrilled” to receive the grant. “We hope to cover at least 11 schools through this grant support.” He says this will particularly benefit some students who otherwise might never get to go to a dental clinic. Speaking next: Neighborcare’s dental director, Dr. Marty Lieberman. They have not yet worked out which schools this will be offered in, for starters.
ADDED: Video of the briefing, above. Afterward, the mayor was taken on a tour of the Madison clinic, including a demonstration of the kind of portable dental equipment that’ll be used in the new program: