Water District board moves forward on fluoridation funding agreement

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SAN JOSE, Calif., December 17, 2012 – The Health Trust applauds the board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District for unanimously voting to enter into a public/private partnership to fund community water fluoridation.

“This is a great day for the children of Santa Clara County,” said Health Trust CEO Frederick J. Ferrer.

Under the proposed agreement, three organizations will donate a total of $2.4 million toward the cost of fluoridating the district’s three treatment plants, a $6.6 million project: $1 million will come from The Health Trust, $900,000 from FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, and $500,000 from the California Dental Association Foundation. The board, with Trustee Brian Schmidt absent, voted 5-0 Tuesday morning to authorize Water District CEO Beau Goldie to negotiate the agreement with the three agencies.

In November 2011, the board voted to fluoridate its water treatment plants. Since then, water district staff have been working with The Health Trust to finalize cost estimates and agree on a funding plan.

“This has been a long process, but thanks to the leadership of the water district board, our community will finally get the benefits of water fluoridation,” Ferrer said.

Ferrer thanked FIRST 5 Santa Clara County, PACT, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Santa Clara County Dental Society and local dental hygienists for their tireless advocacy efforts on behalf of the children of Santa Clara County.

The Health Trust, a local foundation dedicated to making Silicon Valley the healthiest region in America, is a leader in local oral health education and treatment, operating two Children’s Dental Centers and providing thousands of oral screenings each year. Several years ago The Health Trust identified fluoride as a county health priority.  Water fluoridation, shown to decrease cavities in children up to 40 percent, is the most cost-effective way to prevent childhood dental disease. It also has been shown to prevent tooth loss among older adults and has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the greatest public health breakthroughs of the 20th century.

Among those urging the board to move ahead with the project on Tuesday was Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, the Santa Clara County health officer.  “It’s imperative that we continue the momentum for fluoridation,” he said.

About The Health Trust
The Health Trust is a nonprofit foundation that provides grants, services and advocacy to support its vision of Silicon Valley as the healthiest region in America through its three initiatives – Healthy Living, Healthy Aging, and Healthy Communities. For more information, visit www.healthtrust.org.

For information contact:
Patty Fisher, The Health Trust