Mountain Family gets $350K for dental care
Glenwood Springs-based Mountain Family Health Center has been awarded $350,000 as part of a U.S. Health and Human Services grant. The money will go toward increasing access to oral health services in the Roaring Fork Valley.
Colorado received more than $3.7 million to be divided among 10 health centers in the state. The U.S. Department of Health and Human services provided nearly $156 million nationwide in the grant program.
The money will enable health centers to expand oral health care services to those who would have not been able to afford it before, increasing the number of patients served nationwide.
Garry Millard, DDS, Dental Director at Mountain Family Health Centers, was excited that the grant will allow more residents access oral health care.
“Mountain Family is thrilled to be able to expand affordable dental care to the Roaring Fork Valley. Currently, there are limited options for low-income patients in the area to receive basic dental care,” Millard said in a press release. “Sadly, many of these patients end up in the emergency departments of local hospitals with dental pain or infections. The good news is that MFHC’s dental expansion will provide access to affordable dental care to 700 underserved patients annually.”
According to the HHS, oral health problems can be an indicator of other troubles. A lack of routine dental care can lead to costly dental treatments down the road when emergency treatment becomes necessary.
“Oral health is an important part of our overall physical health and well-being,” said Sylvia Burwell of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The funding we are awarding will reduce barriers to quality dental care for hundreds of thousands of Americans by bringing new oral health providers to health centers across the country.”
The money will allow health centers across the country to hire approximately 1,600 new dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides, and technicians to treat nearly 785,000 new patients.
Locally, expanded access to dental care will become available to underserved residents starting in the fall of 2017.
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