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Idaho State University dental hygiene department honored for serving children and families

February 2, 2015
ISU Marketing and Communications

Idaho State University’s Department of Dental Hygiene has been awarded the Idaho Head Start Association 2015 Edward Zigler Innovation Award for providing free, high-quality oral health care to low-income families in Idaho.

Associate dental hygiene professor Karen Portillo will accept the award Feb. 11 at the IHSA Scholarships and Awards Banquet in Boise.

The award was set up in honor of Dr. Edward Zigler, one of the founders of Project Head Start, whose pioneering work in early childhood development helped to shape education and child care in America. Every year, the award is given to charitable local programs that have impacted their communities by providing services to children and families in need.

Portillo said undergraduate students in the program are required to develop an oral health program every year to benefit special needs, minority or underserved populations in Idaho.

Last year, an educational and behavioral modification program was developed for parents in Pocatello and Chubbuck to encourage proper oral health care at home, said Portillo. The Idaho Head Start Association recognized the importance of the program and nominated the department to receive the award. They won at both the local and state levels.


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