The Children's Year Program, carried out across
the U.S. in 1918, furnished Minneapolis with an
entirely new viewpoint regarding our children.
Instead of having the healthiest children in the
country, it was discovered that approximately
25% of Minneapolis children were underweight for
their height and age. In other words, one-fourth
of Minneapolis children were suffering
as the fall of 1918 the Woman's Committee of
the Council of National Defense (now the Woman's
Community Council) called for action, realizing
the serious importance of children's health. Support for the plan came from a gift of one thousand
dollars from Mr. J. L. Record of the Minneapolis
Steel and Machinery Company.
Record's donation made it possible to open the
South Town Children's Clinic in January, 1919
at Lake Street and 27th Avenue South, in rooms
on the second floor which had been occupied
by the draft board during the war. Officers
were chosen from among the twenty-three member
board of directors and a dental clinic
was put into operation three mornings a week.
The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) was greatly interested
in this dental clinic and furnished the services
of a nurse for two years. At the end of this
period the Junior Board of the VNA
volunteered to provide assistance, which they
did from January to September 1921.
January 1, 1919, the South Town Children's Clinic
became a member of the Council of Social Agencies
receiving support from the local Community Fund. On
April 1, 1920, Mrs. Hurly took up her duties
as Director of the Clinic. This made it possible
to open two more clinics during that year: a
pre-natal clinic by the Infant Welfare Society,
and a nutrition clinic by the Woman's Community
Children's Dental Clinics Association arose
from the South Town Children's Clinic and was
incorporated on February 4, 1954. From this
Children's Dental Services Association was incorporated on
December 30, 1965. Finally, in 1985, the program changed
its name to the current Children's Dental Services.
1994, Children's Dental Services (CDS) merged
with the Women and Children's Dental Program
of the Minneapolis Department of Public Health.
The Women and Children's Dental Program established
school-based and Head Start-based dental clinics
in areas accessible to low-income children.
Today CDS continues the traditions of the programs
from which it began by providing comprehensive,
quality dental care to underserved children throughout the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region.