Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation has pledged $800,000 to help People’s Center Clinics & Services (PCCS) meet the ever-growing demand for affordable dental care. The funds will support the expansion of dental care to the refugee and low-income patients served at this nationally-recognized community health clinic in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The clinic is part of an overall remodeling of the facility to create a one-stop shop for patients, in an integrated manner, including eight dental exam rooms, six behavioral health counseling rooms, two eye clinic exam rooms and a wellness studio.
Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation funds will support renovating the second floor of the main clinic building on Riverside Avenue. Eight new dental exam rooms will be added, equipped and furnished, and a dental director and clinic manager will join People’s Center. The expansion will create 10 new jobs including a dentist, dental therapist and two dental hygienists and their support staff. Construction will start this summer and reach completionby year’s end.
“We know that providing education and preventative care, and restorative treatments when needed, makes a difference in overall health, and that limited access is a barrier for those we serve,” declares Sahra Noor, CEO of People’s Center Clinics & Services. “Demand for integrated dental care is steadily increasing, last year we saw an 8% rise in visits. This generous pledge from the Delta Dental Foundation will allow us to serve 1,500 new dental patients and provide 7,800 dental visits each year to new and existing patients for years to come.”
The expanded services will help address the consequences of untreated dental health problems – pain and tooth loss; impaired physical and social growth in children; impaired nutrition; and, impact on other chronic conditions. In addition, it is anticipated that by locating dental services with other health services in the community, there will be a reduction in the reliance on emergency room visits to address severe dental pain, which are not equipped to treat underlying dental health problems.
“This project aligns with Delta Dental’s deep commitment to improving access to oral health care among underserved communities across Minnesota,” says Joseph Lally, Executive Director of the Foundation. “People’s Center is a leader in integrated care for refugees and low-income members of our community. They were the first Federally-Qualified Health Center in the nation to bring dental therapists onto their care team to reduce wait times for preventative and basic care, which is key to improving dental as well as overall health. We are glad to provide a leadership grant serving as a fundraising match for their capital expansion.”
This pledge is part of $2.7 million in grants approved by Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation at its February meeting to support oral health initiatives across the state of Minnesota.
About People’s Center Clinics & Services:
People’s Center Clinics & Services (PCCS), founded as the Cedar Riverside People’s Center in 1970, is a nationally recognized non-profit community health center serving diverse communities in south Minneapolis and surrounding communities. People’s Center became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2003, and operates a network of three clinics and accepts all patients regardless of their ability to pay. PCCS’s mission is to deliver affordable health, dental, behavioral and optical care; inspire hope; and promote community wellness. In 2017 PCCS almost 9,000 individual patients and conducted over 49,000,000 visits. 46% of patients were better served in languages other than English. 14% of patients were uninsured. Committed to achieving the triple aim of health care—reducing cost, improving health outcomes and improving patient experience—we’ve reduced hospital admissions by 10%, reduced emergency room visits by 22% and reduced pharmacy cost by 7% over three years.
About Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation:
In 2009, Delta Dental of Minnesota’s parent sold a company and used 100 percent of the proceeds to establish and fund Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation supports Delta Dental of Minnesota’s mission of improving the health of Minnesotans through oral health. Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation works to expand access to dental care for Minnesota’s underserved populations across the state by primarily investing in dental care for people in need.