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Primary Health Care of Ames to Expand Dental Care Access Through $250,000 Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation Grant

Posted on December 21, 2020 in Foundation

PHC Primary Health CareThe Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation announced a $250,000 grant to Primary Health Care to co-locate a dental clinic within its existing Ames clinic. This expansion will create greater access to preventive and restorative dental care for patients in Story County and includes those who may be uninsured or covered by Medicaid. Primary Health Care (PHC) is an experienced nonprofit integrated health care provider with medical, behavioral health and dental clinics in Ames, Des Moines and Marshalltown.

Patients from Mid-Iowa Community Action’s dental clinic, which has closed, will transition to the PHC Dental Clinic at 3510 Lincoln Way in Ames, and new patients will be accepted including those who are uninsured or who are covered by Medicaid. A full-time dentist along with hygienists, dental assistants and shared patient support representatives will provide care for dental patients in six operatories in the new clinic. Services offered to PHC dental patients will include diagnostic, preventive, restorative, periodontal, endodontic, oral surgery procedures and emergency dental needs. The team expects to serve up to 3,600 dental patients when fully operational.

“The addition of this dental practice gives Story County residents the opportunity for increased access to truly integrated medical, behavioral health and dental care in one convenient location,” said Jeff Russell, president, Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation. “This Foundation grant of $250,000 aligns perfectly with our funding strategy to create stronger ties between oral and overall health, as well as supporting our mission of increasing access to care for all Iowans.”

Culturally competent staff members at PHC will work with the area’s diverse population. Approximately 27% of children in Story County live under the poverty level. PHC served nearly 39,000 patients in 2019 and 36% of those patients were uninsured while 36% were covered by Medicaid.

“COVID-19’s harsh impact including job losses, food insecurity and uncertainty of access to many medical services has created even larger health care gaps,” said Kelly Huntsman, chief executive officer, Primary Health Care. “Support from partners like Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation will allow Primary Health Care to provide expanded dental care to our diverse and vulnerable populations in Story County. Adding dental resources to our integrated medical care model in the Ames clinic helps us more fully serve our patients from children to older adults.”

In addition to the $250,000 grant from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, PHC is seeking funding from other public/private partners to fully fund this $1.3 million dental clinic expansion. As a dental safety net provider, PHC will work closely with other safety net service providers and public health dental programs like I-Smile to educate and provide preventive treatments to children and older Iowans in Story County.