The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Eastern Kentucky, a program of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass, was successfully elected the winner over 38 other Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs worldwide in an online voting initiative hosted by Ronald McDonald House Charities.
The Care Mobile will receive a $5,000 grant to support health education services.
More than 12,000 votes were cast on www.rmhc.org to show support for the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile in Hazard.
Since 2005, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program, a partnership between the University of Kentucky and RMHC of the Bluegrass, has offered Eastern Kentucky's children affordable, professional dental services and education through its state-of-the-art mobile clinic. Centered in Hazard, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile assists vulnerable and at-risk children in their own neighborhoods and schools.
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More than 50 percent of Eastern Kentucky's children have the second-highest rate of untreated tooth decay in the nation, and because 20 percent of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile patients are uninsured and 80 percent are covered only by Medicaid/KCHIP, the mobile dental clinic is the only treatment option for many. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile has provided more than 10,000 dental visits since 2005. Given that more than 51 million hours of schooling are lost annually due to the lack of dental care among children in the United States the services provided to Eastern Kentucky's children help improve their lives on multiple fronts.
In April, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass board of directors met to vote to raise funds to match the $5,000 grant if declared the winner.
"Each year thousands of children in Eastern Kentucky have brighter smiles and a better future thanks to our outstanding Ronald McDonald Care Mobile team," said RMHC of the Bluegrass board president Brant Welch.