On July 1st 2012 social service non-profit Northwest Family Services (NWFS) received funding from United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, along with a generous donation of Health Kits from Henry Schein Cares Foundation, to launch a one year Access to Dental Care Program in Clackamas County Oregon. This program focuses on improving community oral health through outreach, education, and direct care.
In partnership with The Clackamas County Dental Society, Clackamas County Housing Authority, and other service providers, NWFS conducts educational outreach at various community events. The Access to Dental Care Program has been successful in reaching more than 1,500 adults and families as well as providing free dental care to more than 300 low-income, under and uninsured adults.
Clackamas County Dental Society Executive Director Dr. Fred Bremner, DMD stated,“ the dental society gets many calls from residents looking for reduced cost dental care. We need this collaborative program to help solve the lack of access to dental care for adults in Clackamas County “
NWFS’ bilingual Navigation Specialist conducts intake and enrollment for patients, provides translation, and coordinates follow-up care. NWFS’ Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist (EPDH) provides the first level of preventative dental care, and screens patients for urgent needs at various sites throughout Clackamas County. More urgent dental care needs are provided through a mobile dental van.
NWFS understands that many Clackamas County residents lack adequate dental insurance and have unmet oral health needs. Not only does this program provide direct care for these residents, it allows us to produce a comprehensive needs assessment that identifies the primary barriers to access to care so that we can more effectively educate and improve the oral health of our community at large.
“We are excited to launch this program and begin to improve the overall health of our community,” Rose Fuller, NWFS Executive Director.