Two health centers in our area will get a total of 700-thousand dollars from the federal government to expand dental services.
Four Orange County nonprofits that provide dental care were awarded $1.4 million in federal money on Thursday for expansion of services.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $24 million for 65 clinics in California. Funds will be used to hire more dentists and hygienists.
In Orange County, the following groups received $350,000 apiece: Camino Health Center, San Juan Capistrano; Serve the People, Santa ana; Share Our Selves, Costa Mesa; and St. Jude Neighborhood Health Centers, Fullerton.
The U-S Department of Health and Human Services is providing the money as part of a nationwide effort to increase the number of oral health care patients served.
Katahdin Valley Health Center in Patten and Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor will each receive 350-thousand dollars.
Centers in Portland and Caribou will receive money as well.
Three Montana health centers, including ones in Yellowstone and Big Horn counties, have received more than $1 million in federal funds to expand oral health services.
RiverStone Health in Billings, the Bighorn Valley Health Center in Hardin and the Lincoln County Community Health Center in Libby each will receive $350,000, with the money intended to both boost oral health services for community health centers and increase the number patients they treat.
RiverStone will use the money in a number of ways. It will allow the organization, which serves as the Yellowstone County public health agency, to build two more areas where patients can be seen, bringing the total to 12.
The money will also be used to hire another full-time dentist and two more assistants, bringing it to a total of 4.1 full-time equivalent dentists and nine FTE assistants.
In addition, RiverStone will also help to buy mobile dental equipment to provide regular dental care at the Orchard School Clinic.
“as evidenced by the 2014 Community Health Needs assessment, the dental needs in our community are great and the oral health expansion grant awarded from the Health Resources and Services administration will enable us to serve even more people,” said John Felton, RiverStone’s president and CEO. “With this grant, we will be able to hire additional dental professionals and extend oral healthcare to the Orchard School Clinic. Because we are able to provide dental services on a sliding fee scale for those who qualify, this grant increases access to quality affordable dental services for those individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.”
at the Bighorn Valley Health Center in Hardin, the money will be used to partner with the Hardin Family Dental Center to provide previously unavailable dental services, including via teledentistry, to the community of ashland.
“Presently there are no dental services there,” said David Mark, CEO of the Bighorn Valley center. “as far as we’re concerned, this represents the best when it comes to public-private partnerships. It allows us to expand into places where expansion previously was not possible, to folks who would not receive services otherwise.”
That program will be up and running within 120 days, he said.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday announced the funding, which will come through the Health Resources and Services administration Health Center Program.
The money allocated to the three Montana centers is part of $156 million in funding announced Thursday to support expanded oral health services to 420 health centers in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.