$16K grant allows rural dental clinic to reopen, serve patients once a month
Okemos, Michigan—Traveling 100 miles to receive dental care is troublesome.
Until last month, that was the case for residents in a remote area of the Upper Peninsula.
Through a $16,509 grant from the Delta Dental Foundation, the Engadine Dental Center recently reopened its doors, bringing critical dental care to the community.
“Knowing these individuals had to drive nearly two hours to receive care was unfathomable, especially if they were experiencing oral health pain,” said Teri Battaglieri, Delta Dental Foundation director. “The Delta Dental Foundation is pleased to help this center get off the ground again and provide critical dental care to folks who truly need it.”
The center serves residents near Engadine, in the southeastern region of the Upper Peninsula where few dental clinics exist. And with more than 7,000 people enrolled in Medicaid or the Health Michigan Plan in Mackinac, Alger, Luce, and Schoolcraft counties, the local need for a comprehensive dental center is great.
“Previously the closest centers that focus on the underserved and are able to see Medicaid patients were in Cheboygan, Marquette and Spalding so the Engadine Center offers a great opportunity for patients to receive care close to home,” said Michelle Chapman of My Community Dental Centers (MCDC.)
In addition to funding from the Delta Dental Foundation, MCDC contributed digital technology to the center. The center is being operated by MCDC on behalf of the Luce, Mackinac, Alger, Schoolcraft District Health Department.
The Engadine Dental Center was previously open until 2013 when its management company went out of business. When the center reopened last month, former staff came back on board, including lead dentist Dr. Richard Martzke.
The MCDC Engadine Dental Center will be open two days a month from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Upcoming care dates are November 11 and 12, December 9 and 10 and January 6 and 7.
In the first few months, staff expects they will serve 90 patients.
About Delta Dental Foundation
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public and to advancing dental science through education and research. For more information, visit www.deltadentalmi.com.