CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Health Right, in partnership with the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, today dedicated its new mobile dental clinic that will take much-needed services to many low-income, rural West Virginia residents.
“This is a truly momentous day for us as we begin this new program of taking dental services to thousands of West Virginians who otherwise wouldn’t get this care,” said Angie Settle, chief executive officer of West Virginia Health Right. “Planning for this has been in motion for a year. We are excited about our partnership with Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine that is helping us to provide these services.”
The new mobile dental unit will serve residents of McDowell, Logan, Boone, Clay, Roane and Harrison counties. The unit is a 38-foot gooseneck trailer with three dental chairs and an X-ray machine. It will be out three days a week and visit each site twice a month, serving uninsured and Medicaid-insured patients at no charge to them.
“Good oral health impacts total body health,” said Raj K. Khanna, DMD, M.D., chairman of the department of dentistry, oral & maxillofacial surgery at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “We are proud to partner with West Virginia Health Right on this initiative to bring oral care to a number of rural communities in our state in an effort to improve the overall health of West Virginians.”
Funding for this project was provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, Logan Healthcare Foundation, Bernard McDonough Foundation and others. The first year’s funding of $524,000 will cover the cost of the mobile unit as well as staffing. Staffing will include a dental hygienist, a dental assistant and a driver. Marshall University will provide a faculty dentist and a resident dentist.
“We expect to treat about 3,000 a year with this mobile unit,” Settle said. “All of the counties the mobile unit will visit have been selected in collaboration with rural hospitals and other clinics because they have unserved dental needs.”
West Virginia Health Right is a free and charitable clinic that provides primary and specialty medical, dental, vision, behavioral health, pharmaceutical and health education services to more than 19,200 patients annually with the help of more than 400 volunteers.
Date Posted: Wednesday, May 24, 2017