Federal funds help expand dental care for children

Capital News Service
LANSING – Smiles in Michigan will soon be a little brighter – and healthier – thanks to a recent federal grant. The Department of Community Health will use a $1.3 million grant to expand oral health programs in Mecosta and Genesee counties. The grant is from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. In Mecosta County, the funds will expand the SEAL! Michigan program that places hygiene students in elementary and middle schools to provide sealants and dental education.

Internet creates opportunities at northern Michigan schools

Capital News Service
LANSING — For a long time, the Upper Peninsula and the northern part of the Lower Peninsula have lacked access to high-speed Internet, but that’s changing, education and technology experts say. Merit Network Inc., which promotes computer networking in Michigan, won a $103 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to provide fiber-optic cable to “community anchor institutions.”
The focus for Merit was primarily on K-12 education and libraries, said Elwood Downing, vice president of member relations, communications, services and product development at the Ann Arbor-based nonprofit company. With the grant, Merit laid 2,300 miles of fiber-optic cable across the U.P. and the northern half of the Lower Peninsula. “The Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle Educational Service District benefited the most, having almost no connectivity before we came in,” Downing said. The district is headquartered in Indian River.

Grant to aid fight against obesity

Capital News Service
LANSING – The state and higher education institutions are expanding a new model that bridges communications among health professions in the fight against obesity. The Department of Community Health received a three-year, $1.5 million grant to build an innovative state model in inter-professional collaborative practice. It is the first time that Grand Valley State University’s West Michigan Inter-professional Education Initiative Model will be put in a clinic setting since it become active in 2008. It is also the first time that the model has been used outside West Michigan. The model will be piloted in two urban nurse-managed primary care facilities at Grand Valley and Wayne State University, focusing on child and adult obese populations and affecting a minimum of 175 overweight or obese patients.