For Immediate Release
December 10, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Dental Clinic for Low Income Families To Open Today in Garden City

Funding Provided by Public/Private Partnership

A dental clinic serving low incoming and uninsured families opened today in Garden City. The United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries (UMMAM) Dental Clinic was made possible by a grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) as well as grants from private foundations through the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved (KAMU).

The Kansas Dental Hub Grant Program is a new $2.5 million public/private collaboration to expand oral health access for Kansans who cannot afford oral health services. In addition to the $500,000 in state funding, the Sunflower Foundation, Delta Dental, the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund, the Walter S. and Evan C. Jones Testamentary Trust and the REACH Healthcare Foundation combined to provide $2 million to fund the program.

“The clinic will provide much needed oral health access to southwest Kansas, an area of the state that is in desperate need of expanded dental services,” said Cathy Harding, Executive Director of KAMU. “Adding dental services to the existing safety net clinics provides a completely comprehensive medical home for low income and uninsured Kansas families.”

The dental program is an expansion of the Primary Care Clinic Grants, which have been awarded since 1991. In 2007, KDHE awarded more than $5.2 million dollars to 31 clinics to support ongoing operating costs and to provide funding to establish or expand access to primary health care for vulnerable and underserved Kansans.

“We are honored to work with so many dedicated partners to make the Dental Hub Grant Program a success,” said KDHE Secretary Roderick L. Bremby. “The UMMAM clinic is a testimony to the private/public partnerships that work together everyday to ensure all Kansans have access to quality healthcare.”

The UMMAM clinic was one of eight primary care clinics awarded dental hub awards this year. The clinic, which will be open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will provide basic services such as fillings and extractions, but will likely include preventative services in the future. P atients will pay for services on a sliding fee scale according to their household income.