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Maine Health Access Foundation Awards $148,568 to Five Nonprofit Dental Clinics around the State to Strengthen Services

Maine Health Access Foundation Awards $148,568 to Five Nonprofit Dental Clinics around the State to Strengthen Services

The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) announces the award of $148,568 to five nonprofit dental clinics that are part of Maine’s oral health safety net to strengthen their capacity to provide high quality, affordable dental care for low-income Mainers.  All of the clinics recently completed comprehensive individual practice improvement and business plans detailing actions that could improve the efficiency and long-term viability of their practices.  This planning process was done with the help of the DentaQuest Institute’s Safety Net Solutions program. The grants will allow the five clinics to implement critical pieces of their viability plans.

Maine’s oral health safety net is made up of a number of independent clinics, volunteer oral health providers and federally qualified community health centers. This small network provides critical services to children and adults who often have limited means to pay for dental services and rely on the safety net clinics to get the care they need.  

“Preventive and restorative dental care are critical to good oral health.  Everyone needs access to these services,” noted MeHAF’s Vice President for Programs Barbara Leonard.  “Kids need to be pain-free to learn at school, and for adults, good oral health can be an important factor in getting and keeping a job.  The oral health safety net helps everyone to have better access to dental care, especially people in rural areas or with low incomes.”  

MeHAF’s grants will fund a variety of activities.  In Bucksport, MeHAF funding will help the Bucksport Regional Health Center hire a Dental Care Integration Coordinator to ensure that patients seeking primary and behavioral health care are also accessing needed dental services.  In Portland, Community Dental (which has five locations around the state) will outfit its new surgical suite with the equipment necessary to treat patients who require sedation, including people with severe mental illness and those who have experienced prior trauma.

“Thousands of Maine people have untreated dental needs because they can’t afford dental care,” said Program Officer Morgan Hynd.  “MeHAF has worked to strengthen the oral health safety net for 15 years and is committed to continuing that work as long as there are people going without the care they need.”  

The Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF) is Maine’s largest, private, nonprofit health care foundation dedicated to promoting access to quality health care, especially for those who are uninsured and underserved, and improving the health of everyone in Maine.  MeHAF uses its grant resources and expertise to identify and move forward key initiatives and issues to improve Maine’s health care system so people across every region of our state have access to quality care for better health.

Safety Net Dental Clinic Grant Awards

Hancock County
Bucksport Regional Health Center, Bucksport
Carol Carew, ccarew@brhcme.org, 207-469-7371
Grant: $24,000

Cumberland County
Community Dental, Portland & Biddeford
Lisa Kavanaugh, lisa.kavanaugh@communitydentalme.org, 207-874-1025 x3010
Grant: $49,568

Penobscot County
Penobscot Community Health Care, Brewer
Angela Chase, achase@pchc.com, 207-992-2152 x1184
Grant: $25,000

Sebasticook Family Doctors, Dexter
Lauren Gaudet, lgaudet@sfdchc.org, 207-564-8710
Grant: $25,000

Waldo County
Waldo County Dental Care, Belfast
Jane Bennett, jbennett1@wcgh.org, 207-323-8771
Grant: $25,000

Media Contact:
Morgan Hynd, Maine Health Access Foundation
(207) 620-8266 x116 | mhynd@mehaf.org

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