Written by Tom Wilemon, The Tennessean
The Tennessee Primary Care Association has received a grant of almost $100,000 to improve dental care for the state's uninsured.
The money from the DentaQuest Foundation will be used to pay for an oral health coordinator to help community dental clinics serve more people and better inform state policymakers about their needs. The Tennessee Primary Care Association will also choose five health centers to receive direct technical assistance.
"Oral health is critical, but unfortunately, an often overlooked component of overall health," said Kathy Wood-Dobbins, chief executive officer of the association. "Now, with the support from the DentaQuest Foundation, we're able to dedicate resources and energy to studying the coordination and delivery of oral health services in our communities."
Community health clinics served more than 348,000 patients with dental care last year. Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center and United Neighborhood Health Services are among the organizations with dental clinics.
The five clinics chosen for technical assistance will receive advice from the DentaQuest Institute's Safety Net Solutions team, who will help them increase patient access, improve quality and streamline operations.