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For Release: February 3, 2015
Media Contact: Amy McCauley, Outreach Manager, (828) 695-5818,


HICKORY, NC – Nearly 275 local children have been selected to participate in the national Give Kids A Smile program, which coincides with Children’s Dental Health Month this February.

Along with Catawba County Public Health Dental Practice, dental professionals across Catawba County are opening their doors to provide free restorative and preventive dental health services to children valued at approximately $90,000. Children were selected for the Give Kids A Smile program through dental sealant education and screenings provided to more than 2,000 children in Catawba County by Cindy W. Sigmon, Public Health Dental Hygienist for the North Carolina Oral Health Section serving Catawba County.

boy in dental chairParticipating dental professionals include Catawba County Public Health Dental Practice, Dr. Susan Bridges, Dr. Tom Carnaggio, Dr. George Clay, Dr. Ashley Collins, Dr. Michael Cordora, Dr. Lena Eldridge, Dr. David Gaddis, Dr. Bryan Graham, Dr. Coke Gunter, Dr. Delores Hammer, Dr. Darryl Hatchett, Dr. Mark Helton, Dr. Kristin Herring, Dr. Gary Jones, Dr. Kimberly Jones, Dr. Ron Key, Dr. William Litaker, Dr. John McAllister, Dr. Paul McMurry, Dr. Josh Millsaps, Dr. Ross Penland, Dr. Chase Powell, Dr. Jason Sain, Dr. James Scheller, Dr. Ryan Sigmon, Dr. Jerry Sowers Jr., Dr. Richard Spurgas, and Dr. Richard Troutman.

“By participating in Give Kids A Smile, Catawba County Public Health Dental Practice helps provide a positive experience for children who may not have access to routine dental care,” said Rhonda Stikeleather, RN, children’s services nursing supervisor, Catawba County Public Health. “Our goal is to not only help meet their immediate needs, but also ensure they are forming the skills and habits that help maintain good dental health.”

The American Dental Association (ADA) began the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003 as a way for ADA members to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children.

Catawba County Public Health Dental Practice welcomes children ages 1 to 21 with Medicaid, HealthChoice or Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina insurance and individuals with Medicaid for Pregnant Women coverage. Appointments can be made by calling (828) 695-5778.

Located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, N.C., Catawba County Public Health provides health and education services to eligible men, women, and children in the community. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit