$200,000 grant from Delta Dental Foundation expands access to dental care in Barry County
A major renovation at Cherry Health’s Barry Community Health Center in Hastings promises to bring together dental and overall health care, providing a seamless experience for residents of Barry County.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 8 at the site of the project, 200 S. Boltwood Street in Hastings.
The $1.3 million project is funded in part with $200,000 from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF).
The DDF funds will cover the cost of dental equipment for five dental operatories—a desperately needed service in the area since the ratio of residents to dentists is 80 percent higher in Barry County than the rest of Michigan.
Additionally, the closest community health center providing dental care is 30 miles away and preventable emergency room visits to the local Spectrum Health Pennock are nearly double the national average, with a significant amount being dental-related.
“It’s nearly impossible to find a job or focus on the tasks required for daily life when you suffer from poor oral health or tooth pain,” said Teri Battaglieri, Director of the Delta Dental Foundation. “Given that preventable dental conditions treated at Michigan emergency rooms totaled $58 million in 2011, we know the need for this center is great.”
Barry Community Health Center will serve patients regardless of income level, ability to pay or insurance. A sliding fee scale is available for those without insurance; it is based on income and household size.
Oral health care provided will include general dental services, such as exams, cleanings, X-rays, fillings, crowns, complete dentures, partial dentures, periodontal treatment and oral surgery procedures.
The Health Center is set to open in the fall of 2017 and staff anticipate seeing 3,500 patients annually.
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