News Details

Indian Health Service, ADA Collaborate On GKAS For First Time

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The ADA News (2/19, Burger) reports that at Choctaw Central Middle Schoo in Mississippi on Feb. 5, “four dentists and a team of dental staff from the Choctaw Health Center gave hundreds of bubbly American Indian students oral health examinations, fluoride varnish, oral hygiene education and goodie bags filled with toothpaste and toothbrushes provided by the ADA, through the generous donation of Henry Schein and Colgate, to take back to their reservation homes.” The ADA News adds, “It was a Give Kids A Smile event not only for the children of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians but also no fewer than 117 Indian Health Service dental programs across 24 states that were participating in GKAS with the events alone estimated to involve 14,000 American Indian/Alaska Native children.” This was the first Indian Health Service-ADA GKAS collaboration, according to Dr. Timothy L. Ricks, chief dental officer of the U.S. Public Health Service and deputy director of the Indian Health Service Division of Oral Health. Dr. Ricks “initiated the ADA-IHS collaboration nationally” and also participated in the event.

For more information about how GKAS programs are organized across the country, visit, and to learn about programs taking place in your area, email or contact your state or local dental association.