HOPE expands dental care

Tampa, FL – In 2008 HOPE received an agreement from two Federally Qualified Health Clinics, the Health Department, and Tampa General Hospital to create a plan to increase dental care for 15,000 people living at 200% of the poverty level. A draft plan was presented to the HOPE Convention in October 2008. As of November 2010, the Health Department has hired a Dental Coordinator, dental services were increased for over 3,000 people, and 22 new dental chairs were established at health clinics with 16 of the dental chairs at two new health clinics opened in 2010.

Dental clinic hires dentist, reduces wait-list and wait time

Charlottesville, VA – As a result of IMPACT’s 2008 Nehemiah Action, with 2,000 people in attendance, the Charlottesville Free Clinic committed to hiring a dentist by March 2009 to begin to serve over 1,000 people on local waiting lists for dental care. The Clinic fulfilled this commitment eight months ahead of schedule and received $230,000 in funding to hire an entire dental staff in addition to a full-time dentist. The waiting list has been reduced to 200 people and the wait time for emergency visits is now 1-2 weeks, down from an original wait of 2-3 years.

FAITH improves mental health services

Daytona Beach, FL – FAITH worked for nearly a year to improve conditions for mentally ill persons held in the Volusia County Jail. Concerns stemmed from numerous reports of inmates not receiving needed psychotropic medications from the jail psychiatrist, as well as other reports regarding unjust practices by the mental health provider, Prison Health Services. The County’s contract for a mental health provider was up for renewal in August 2008 and at FAITH’s Nehemiah Action, 1,100 people challenged the Volusia County Council to contract with a credible, local provider for mental healthcare in the jail. The Volusia County Council agreed and ultimately awarded the contract to local and credible healthcare provider, ACT/Stewart Marchman, who began administering mental health services in the County Jail in December 2008.

VCC increases access to primary care by 16,000

Richmond, VA -RISC began working on increasing access to primary care for the uninsured in 2007. Organization leaders learned that Greater Richmond was home to 57,000 low-income uninsured persons with no access to primary care. RISC leaders discovered that Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), which runs a public hospital, had access to more than $100 million in state and federal money specifically delegated for care for the uninsured. At the 2009 Nehemiah Action, with 1,000 people present, RISC received a written commitment from the CEO of VCU Health Systems to increase access to primary care for the uninsured through the Virginia Coordinated Care program. At the 2010 Action, VCU agreed to take further steps to increase access to primary care. From 2008 to 2011, the number of uninsured low-income individuals enrolled in the VCU program has increased from 11,000 to 27,000

Community Dental Clinic opens doors

Evansville, IN – After The Community Dental Clinic that opened in 2006 closed a short six years later CAJE began hearing concerns about access to dental care in the community. CAJE played a key role in opening the clinic in 2006, and once again took on the issue of expanding access to dental care to the poor and uninsured in the community.
At the 2014 Nehemiah Action CAJE won commitments from Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, ECHO’s Sandy Strader-McMillan and County Council President Tom Shetler to find funding for ECHO Health’s proposed dental care program.

This program would give low income and members of the community access to quality dental care at a sliding scale cost. Funding was found for the program during the summer of 2014 and there are currently 19 area dentists involved in the program. This allows them to serve around 3,000 members of the community.

The program is run and overseen by ECHO Health a community healthcare provider focused on providing low income members of the community with quality healthcare, including dental care. While the dentists in the dental program primarily treat existing conditions at this time the goal is to expand the program to the point where they are able to provide preventative care.