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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Not for publication Jan. 29, 1999 – No. 74


News conference
11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3
Raleigh Dental Clinic, 508 St. Mary's Street, Raleigh

Lt. Gov. to chair task force on dental health of N.C. children

Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker will chair a statewide task force on access to dental health care being convened by the N.C. Institute of Medicine. A formal announcement of the task force's formation will take place at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3 at the Raleigh Dental Clinic at 508 St. Mary's Street in Raleigh.

The task force will seek ways to improve access to dental care for low income N.C. residents, particularly children covered by Medicaid. It is being created by the N.C. Institute of Medicine at the request of the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and supported by grants from the Duke Endowment and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust.

Speakers will include Wicker; Dr. Gordon DeFriese, president of the Institute of Medicine, professor of social medicine and director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Dr. James Harrell, president of the North Carolina Dental Society.

Reports are widespread of N.C. children, especially beneficiaries of Medicaid, who have difficulty finding professional dental care. The problem has shown up as apparent increases in tooth decay. A final task force report is expected by early summer.


Institute of Medicine contact: Carolyn Busse, (919) 966-3847

Lieutenant Governor's Office contact: Bob Phillips, (919) 733-0098

UNC-CH News Services contact: David Williamson, (919) 962-8596