The need: Access to dental care

Access to dental care is a primary concern for Clackamas County residents, with many individuals and families unable to afford even basic dental care – which, in turn, can lead to serious health issues.

According to the Oregon Health Study, as many as 75 percent of study respondents in our area reported in 2012 they didn’t receive all the dental care they needed. Providence Milwaukie Hospital has made a commitment to improving dental health by donating space for the new Joseph Bernard, Jr., Dental Clinic, which opened July 8, 2013. Operated by Neighborhood Health Center – a federally qualified provider of medical, dental and mental health care services for low income and uninsured patients – the new dental clinic is expected to serve more than 250 patients a month.

Dental clinic patients are referred through a variety of means: PMH Emergency Department; Providence health “navigators” throughout the Portland area; Providence Milwaukie’s low-income clinics; Providence Milwaukie Family Medicine resident program; and cooperative partnerships with Milwaukie High School, Clackamas County Children’s Commission, and Northwest Family Services. In addition to restoring patients’ teeth, the clinic will emphasize prevention and education in cooperation with Pacific University College of Dental Hygiene and the OHSU School of Dentistry.

Your help is needed
Funds are needed to help pay for equipment and medical supplies and such items as dental materials, procedures such as crowns and extractions, equipment, and basic overhead costs such as electricity and computers. Donations can be made to the Providence Milwaukie Hospital Foundation for the Joseph Bernard Jr., Dental Clinic. Providence Milwaukie Hospital and the residents of Clackamas County greatly appreciate your support.

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