It all started with a post card!
In late 2008 Health Forward sent a postcard to residents of Cass County alerting them to the various funding opportunities available through the foundation. The morning after the postcard arrived in the mail, our office was overwhelmed with phone calls from low income families who wanted to know how they could access dental services in Cass County. There seemed to be no dentist in Cass County who would accept new Medicaid patients because of low state reimbursement rates.
After several years of hard work and planning, a new dental clinic was opened on July 6th in Belton, MO. The clinic is expected to treat 1,000 patients in its first six months of operation. It will either accept Medicaid payments or charge families of poor, uninsured children on a sliding scale based upon income. In the first week of operation, over 350 children made appointments to see a dentist.
Health Forward would like to recognize the staff and Board Members of the Research Belton Foundation whose hard work made this clinic a reality. Research Belton Foundation’s Cass County Oral Health Coalition took a leading administrative role in opening the clinic. The Coalition includes local dentists, hygienists, community leaders, government officials, and foundation representatives. Planning for the clinic began two years ago, but it wasn’t until December when Katie Schroeder was hired as Clinic Coordinator that things really started moving. Katie was instrumental in recruiting dentist Mellissa Boerema and managing the details of opening the clinic.
The lion’s share of funding for the clinic was provided by the Health Forward Foundation and the REACH Healthcare Foundation. The clinic hopes to become self sustaining eventually and not require private contributions. To schedule an appointment at the clinic, please call 816-322-7600
There are over 9,000 children in Cass County who are either on Medicaid or uninsured. This dental clinic fills a void in accessing dental services for the poor and uninsured children in the county…and to think it all started with a post card!