The United Way of Sarnia-Lambton announced it has been able to continue two of its existing programs, one providing dental service, the other a prescription drug program, both of which had "run dry" until the board of directors approved additional funding.
Pam Gallant, chair of the United Way Community Investment Committee, said the two programs, both of which are provided through the Salvation Army, have a long-term benefit to the community.
"Most working poor do not have access to a medical benefit plan to help with dental and medical requirements," noted Gallant. "As well, some medications have been taken off the drug plans for social assistance programs."
The United Way has approved additional funding of $7,000 for the dental program and $3,000 for the program involving prescription drugs.
All dental assistant payments, typically covering treatments such as partial or complete dentures, root canals, extractions, emergency tooth repair and special cases for children, are made directly to the dentist performing the work.
The Prescription Medication/Medical Assistance program helps clients with the cost of antibiotic prescriptions, insulin supplies, blood pressure medication, seizure and heart medication, and colostomy supplies, according to the United Way.
Again, providing the help can mean fewer heath problems down the road.
It also helps children get better and back in school sooner, noted Gallant, adding that the program can also reduce children falling behind in school and even dropping out.
avoiding falling behind and even dropping out.
As is the case with the dental program, all prescription medication and medical assistance payments are made directly to the medical supplier or pharmacy and not the client themselves.
"These programs improve the health and self esteem of many adults and children as well as allow the working poor to stay working and avoid going on social assistance," added Gallant.
The Salvation Army also provides the Winter Warmth program, with the assistance of the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton. This program provides one time assistance with heating costs for those who qualify.