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Biloxi, Mississippi, February 28, 2007

(February 28, 2007) Biloxi, Miss. —Coastal Family Health Center, with the support of Project HOPE and Johnson & Johnson, is restoring accessibility to dental care to low-income residents along the Gulf Coast, still impacted by Hurricane Katrina, with the introduction of a new mobile dental clinic.

CFHC’s dental clinic in Biloxi, which served more than 400 patients a month, was completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. While the organization was able to secure funds to purchase a vehicle to be used as a mobile dental clinic, the grant did not include monies to provide the mobile unit with dental equipment.

Project HOPE, the international health education and humanitarian assistance organization, was able to secure and coordinate a $150,000 grant through Johnson & Johnson to fully equip the mobile unit.

“Oral health is an important component to overall good health, yet Hurricane Katrina has taken away the availability of dental care to many low-income families along the Gulf Coast,” said John P. Howe, III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE. “Johnson & Johnson and Project HOPE are pleased to continue our partnership with Coastal Family Health Center and to help the Center restore access to dental health care to the families in desperate need of these services.”

The new mobile dental unit has two fully-equipped dental operatories, x-ray units and developer, sterilization units, an array of hand pieces and accessories, a handicapped lift, sanitary facilities and a mini-waiting room.

In addition to equipping the mobile dental clinic, Johnson & Johnson funds enabled Project HOPE to procure basic equipment for five dental operatories for CFHC’s permanent dental clinic, currently under construction.

“We are grateful for the continued support of Project HOPE and companies such as Johnson & Johnson,” said Joe Dawsey, Executive Director of Coastal Family Health Center.

“Our successful partnerships with these organizations allow us to reestablish health care accessibility, including dental care, to all people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”

When the land-based dental clinic is completed, the mobile dental clinic will continue to circulate throughout the coastal area providing services to outlying and isolated populations. This mobile unit will also provide readiness in the event of another debilitating Gulf storm.

Since November 2005, Project HOPE has provided more than $1.2 million in cash and gift-in-kind support to CFHC to re-establish primary health care services to families still impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs across five continents. For more information, please visit http://www.projecthope.org.

Created in 1978 and headquartered in Biloxi, Coastal Family Health Center is the primary provider of high quality, comprehensive health care to all people in its service area, regardless of ability to pay. For additional information, visit http://www.coastalfamilyhealth.com.

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