Press Release

For Immediate Release
Jan 29, 2015
Contact : Maureen Gillespie, Public Relations Manager  
(732) 751-4166
MGillespie@meridianhealth.com

Introducing Meridian Dentistry for Children

Pediatric dental experts provide accessible and specialized care for children  

Neptune, NJ -  K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center introduces Meridian Dentistry for Children, a specialized, full-service, dental practice for infants, children and adolescents in a child-friendly, caring environment. Meridian Dentistry for Children focuses on care for underserved populations, including children with special health care needs such as autism, developmental delay, and other chronic conditions, as well as those challenged with lack of access due to insurance coverage. Located next to K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital, Meridian Dentistry for Children is part of the Children’s Hospital’s Specialty Care Center, providing the most comprehensive medical and dental services for children in Monmouth and Ocean counties in one convenient location.

“K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital is proud to welcome Meridian Dentistry for Children, a pediatric dental practice that provides a critical service to underserved children in our community. Oral health is an important part of every child’s development, and every child deserves access to regular checkups and specialized dental care,” says Kenneth. N. Sable, M.D., MBA, FACEP, president of K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

As the director of Meridian Dentistry for Children, Donn H. Winokur, DDS is a leading pediatric dentist in Monmouth and Ocean counties.  With more than 40 years experience, Dr. Winokur is a recognized expert in providing dental care for children with medical challenges, including developmental delay, cerebral palsy, cleft palate and other complex conditions. Dr. Winokur approaches dental care as an important part of total wellness, and recognizes the stress that many children feel at the dentist’s office. He infuses precise care with lighthearted touches that put kids at ease, particularly those with special health care needs. One example is popular pet therapy dog “Shea”, who can often be found on children’s laps, helping reduce anxiety a child may feel about receiving care.

Dr. Winokur is joined by Jenna Winokur, DMD and Young S. Yi, DMD, both of whom completed their pediatric dental residencies at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Also part of the Meridian Dentistry for Children team are Eileen O’Donnell, DMD, and Virginia Walsh, DMD, who each have more than thirty years of experience as childhood/adolescent dentists. Dr. O’Donnell focuses on public health and dental disease diagnosis and prevention, and Dr. Walsh specializes in family dentistry. The dental team coordinates with pediatricians and specialists to ensure special needs are addressed.

Dental care for all ages remains a public health challenge, and Meridian Health’s recent community needs assessment research, along with other New Jersey state data, confirms the difficulties in accessing dental care for low-income children. Meridian Dentistry for Children aims to address the significant gap in care for children through the acceptance of most dental insurance plans including Medicaid plans.

According to Bonnie T. Stanley, DDS, Chief, Bureau of Dental Services, NJ Family Care, New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, “Tooth decay is the number one chronic childhood illness, with less than 20% of New Jersey Family Care children under the age of three receiving preventive dental services.  Left untreated, pediatric dental disease and its resulting pain and infection can lead to problems in eating, speaking and learning.  We’re proud to partner with practices like Meridian Dentistry for Children to advocate the importance of early-age preventive oral health care, at-home dental hygiene, and education for children and families.”

Meridian Dentistry for Children, located at 71 Davis Avenue and next to K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ, is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To make an appointment, please call 732.776.3560.

About K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center:      
K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center is the first and most comprehensive provider of pediatric care in Monmouth and Ocean counties.  At the heart of Meridian Pediatric Network, the hospital includes a pediatric emergency department and acute care units supported by over 100 pediatric sub-specialists working together with community pediatricians to deliver the most complete, most coordinated care for kids in our communities. Whether it’s complex surgery or treatment for a chronic condition, the team of physicians, nurses and caregivers at K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital treats each child as one of their own in a friendly and convenient setting, close to home. For more information about K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, call 1-800-DOCTORS, or visit www.khovnanianchildrenshospital.com.