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Private Foundation Supports Access to Dental Care for the Uninsured
February 11, 2013 – Seneca, SC -- The Oconee Medical Center Foundation recently received a $30,000 gift from the Howard Green Foundation to help fund a new Community Access Dental Clinic for low income, uninsured adults through the Mountain Lakes AccessHealth network. This gift was made possible through the efforts of Foundation Trustee, Ivor Rich, who lives in Oconee County.
The Howard Green Foundation was founded in 1999, and funded in 2002, following the death of Mr. Green. He was a broadcasting executive, owning radio and television stations in New York and New Jersey. The Foundation was created to help organizations that benefit the community, especially those that help the neediest members of society.
“Our Board chose to financially support Mountain Lakes AccessHealth and a community-based dental clinic because we understand the negative health consequences that result from lack of dental care,” Mr. Rich said. “We like the holistic approach that AccessHealth is using to manage their patients’ care and think this approach, when applied to dental care, will make a very big difference in our community.”
Oconee Medical Center President and CEO, Jeanne Ward said, “We are seeing more and more people coming into our Emergency Department with unresolved dental issues that are negatively affecting their overall health. Having an Access Dental Clinic will help people get the care they need in the right setting and prevent many unnecessary complications.”
“We are so thankful that Mr. Rich took the request for help in establishing a community dental clinic to the Green Foundation and worked tirelessly on our behalf,” Mrs. Ward added. “Their contribution to our community-based Mountain Lakes AccessHealth program is very gratifying, and we will work hard to make them proud of their investment in this effort.”
According to Cortni Nations, director of Mountain Lakes AccessHealth, during a three-month period in 2012, more than 200 adults came to the OMC Emergency Room with dental emergencies.
“We are constantly evaluating the needs of our rural community and the barriers that people face here. Oral health is certainly one of those needs,” said Nations. “It’s a factor that affects everything from chronic disease to being able to find a job. Our vision is to provide a coordinated approach in an easy-to-access location so that individuals not only receive dental care, but also receive the education they need to manage their own health.”
Mountain Lakes AccessHealth and its Dental Committee are currently working on the initial three-part plan which includes securing additional volunteers and funding to make the clinic a reality. Space for the clinic is being donated by Oconee Medical Center. For more information on how you can help with the project, please contact Debbie DuBose at Oconee Medical Center Foundation at 885-7909. Naming opportunities are available for various spaces in the clinic.