Delta Dental Awards $10,000 To Help Launch Butler County Dental clinic For Uninsured

September 29, 2009

Mechanicsburg, Pa. — A community dental clinic lacking sufficient funds to open its doors to the area's uninsured is now closer to providing much-needed services, thanks to a $10,000 grant from Delta Dental of Pennsylvania.

The Community Health Clinic of Butler County, which provides free medical care to more than 1,000 uninsured patients, is working to add dental care to its facility a work in progress since the clinic's opening in 2008. Although two dental operatories were built and dentists enlisted to provide services, a shortfall has prevented the dental clinic from opening its doors to low-income people with unmet dental needs.

A story published in a Pittsburgh newspaper caught the attention of Delta Dental, which immediately pledged a donation. The first installment of $5,000 was delivered last week to clinic officials.

When we heard the news about the clinic, there was no question that we would do what we could to help, said Gary D. Radine, Delta Dental president and CEO. Delta Dental takes very seriously our mission to provide access to care to as many people as possible, and the Community Health Clinic is clearly working towards this same mission.

The clinic serves Butler County residents ages 19 to 64 who are income-eligible (no more than $21,660 annually for individuals or $44,000 for a family of four), lack insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid or other government programs.

We have a huge need for dental services because we are an absolute safety net for this population, said Cecelia Buechele Foster, the clinic’s executive director. Since we don't receive federal funding and therefore aren't eligible for any federal stimulus dollars, we are especially grateful that Delta Dental is acknowledging the importance of the services we provide and the hard work of our staff.

With Delta Dental's grant plus additional funding from other sources, the clinic should open in 6 to 8 weeks, she added. Basic dental services cleanings, exams, fillings and extractions will be provided one to two times monthly to eligible patients.

About Delta Dental of Pennsylvania

Delta Dental of Pennsylvania (www.deltadentalins.com) is part of a holding company system whose affiliated companies, along with Delta Dental of New York, provide dental benefits to more than 24 million people in 15 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. They are all part of the Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, Ill. DDPA consists of 39 Delta Dental member companies licensed in all 50 states. The association collectively covers nearly 52 million of the 174 million people nationwide with private dental insurance, making it by far the largest national system of dental plans.

About The Community Health Clinic of Butler County

The Community Health Clinic of Butler County (www.butlerhealthclinic.org) serves as the main source of health care for more than 1,000 county residents ages 19 to 64 who are income-eligible (200 percent below federal guidelines) who do not qualify for other state or federal medical programs. The nonprofit, community-based organization is staffed mainly by volunteers, and it relies solely upon grants, gifts and foundations to provide care. Since opening in January 2008, it has provided more than 2,400 free medical visits, medicine and follow-up care to its 1,000 patients.

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