The Bistate Women’s Orthodontic Network (BWON), an organization of eight female orthodontists in the St Louis area, in both Missouri and Illinois, will sponsor its first bi-state screening event on April 6, 2019, to donate over $400,000 in braces to kids in their communities through the national nonprofit Smiles Change Lives.

The participating orthodontists are Drs Lauren Hood-Olsen (O’Fallon, Ill); Christine Brinley and Jaclyn Kostelac (Maryville, Ill); Brandy Burgess (Imperial, Mo); Mary Ellen Helmkamp (Sunset Hills and Manchester, Mo); Jodi Hentscher-Johnson (Columbia and Waterloo, Ill); Sue Hong (Richmond Heights and Hazelwood, Mo); and Jaclyn Scroggins (Kirkwood, Mo).

According to a press release, each will be joining together at two office locations to screen children for treatment at their respective practices. Registration is encouraged and is currently open to children whose families are struggling to afford necessary orthodontic treatment.

“We are thrilled to be working with BWON, which has committed to donate over $400,000 in orthodontic care,” says Alexis Barclay, director of provider services for Smiles Change Lives. “To make a difference in a child’s health and self-confidence feels great and is the reason we are so excited about this event.”

To qualify for the program, a child must be between the ages of 7 and 21, have good oral hygiene, not be wearing braces currently, have a moderate to severe need for braces, meet certain financial guidelines (eg, for a family of four in the St Louis area, their household income must be below $61,500), and be willing to pay a $30 application fee and $650 program fee if accepted and placed for treatment with an SCL orthodontist.