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Bob Odell
State Senator
District 8

September 12, 2010

Senator Odell is Chairman of  the Ways and Means Committee, and member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee;  Finance Committee; Citizens Trade Policy Commission; State Park System Advisory Council; and Comprehensive Cancer Plan Oversight Board.

Senate District 8 towns: Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

 

Oral health is a critical element of our overall health … especially for children.

That is why every year or so I try to meet with Kyle Messier who is my mentor and advisor on oral health issues. There is no substitute for getting information from someone who is passionate about their work but also knowledgeable and involved in extending good oral health care to the community.

Kyle is the clinical dental hygienist at the new Community Dental Health Care of Claremont center. The Governor and I recently stopped by so he could see how successful the center is but that visit also reminded me that I needed to catch up with Kyle.

Community Dental Health Care serves residents of Sullivan County with special emphasis on those in need. A full range of dental services are provided in a modern and attractive setting.

The center welcomes all patients and operates much like a traditional private dentist’s office except that this is a public health dental practice with all profits going back to the center’s operations. It is a creation of the Sullivan County Oral Health Collaborative which raised the money to implement their plan to increase access to dental care in the county.

The work at the center complements rather than competes with private practices.

The initial commitment of the collaborative was to serve 800 individuals in the first year. Opening in June, 2009, the center has served 1,200 patients, which is 50 percent more than initially projected. Because of the number of patients being served, the center has plans to build two new operatory stations.

Kyle works three days a week at the dental health center and two days a week with students in the Claremont schools providing basic prevention services. In a year, she will screen 600 students and treat 150. She described to me the portable chair she takes to the schools to use in providing her treatments. There is paperwork too, as Kyle provides record keeping and case management for many students to help them get the additional dental care they need.

In schools where dental health screenings are provided, 2nd and 3rd graders are measured to determine decay rates in their teeth. Five years ago, Kyle says, Sullivan County had the highest rate of untreated tooth decay in the state. More recently, Sullivan County’s ratio is at the state average, marking a tremendous improvement for the county’s school children.

The work of the men and women in public health, whether in oral health or other areas, is to be celebrated by all of us. And I, of course, am appreciative for all that Kyle Messier does at the Community Dental Care of Claremont and in the Claremont schools. I am especially indebted to her for always being willing to share some time to talk about oral health in our area and to be my guide and mentor.

* * *

Getting the facts straight sometimes means doing a little research or reading what otherwise might be boring government reports. Commissioner Kevin Claugherty of the Department of Revenue Administration passed along to me his presentation, last month, on auditing to the House Ways and Means Committee.

While we are all proud of our small businesses in New Hampshire which provide jobs for the majority of our workers, when it comes to taxes it is the large corporations that pay the bulk of the bill. There were just 347 business entities that had business profits tax bills of $100,000 or more in 2008 and contributed 67 percent of the $227 million of business profits tax revenue that year. Those companies represent less than one percent of the companies reporting.

At the same time, there were 56,139 entities or 81 percent of filers that paid no business profits tax.

* * *

As the leaves start to turn to their fall colors, golfers know there are only a few more weeks to get in a few rounds of golf and to play in charity golf tournaments. The summer months provide plenty of opportunities for willing players to support worthy charities through tournaments.

The Ultra Violette Golf Classic was held last week to raise money for scholarships for well-deserving students across the state just as it has been for 24 years. It is the creation of Ron and Vern Violette who saw a need and an opportunity to raise scholarship money while offering a fun day on the golf course.

Vern, as many readers know, owned Violette’s grocery store in Newport for many years. During much of the same time his brother Ron had his own Violette’s in Milford where my mother and father did much of their grocery shopping. Both Violette grocery stores had the feel of a community store where shoppers knew the help and especially the owners and their families who were involved in the business.

The proceeds of the tournaments go to the New Hampshire Grocers Association Scholarship Program which is an activity of their industry education foundation.

Both Violette brothers were active in the towns where they had their stores. The Ultra Violette Tournament was a natural extension of their service to their communities. Over the 25 years of the tournament, $325,000 has been distributed to students in scholarships. An additional $40,000 was raised last week. Congratulations to Vern and Ron on their tournament’s quarter century of success.

 

Bob Odell
State Senator
New Hampshire State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301-4951

Telephone:  603-271-6733
Email:  rpojr@aol.com

 

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