New clinic provides low-income health and dental services
Hilary Farrell August 28, 2014 | WGVU A local health assessment shows access to dental care is one of the largest unmet needs.
That’s according to health officer Adam London, who oversees services at the new Kent County South Clinic.
“We know this isn’t going to solve the problem of lack of dental access, but it is one big – it is one bite out of that problem. And we’ve also made it accessible by making sure the Rapid has a stop here.”
The clinic merges the county’s Wyoming and Kentwood branches. And along with check-ups, immunizations and other services it also adds something new.
A partnership with the non-profit Michigan Community Dental Clinics creates a full-scale office for anything from cleaning to cavities.
Regional administrator Pearline Bailey says it’s an important link to care for those who might not otherwise be able to afford it.
“Eighty percent of our population [at the clinic] are Medicaid recipients; the other 20 percent are low-income, working individuals that do not have insurance."
"We have an in-house program that’s called the Michigan Community Dental Plan. That plan allows for those who are not insured, or unable to qualify for Medicaid to still come to our dental clinic to receive services.”
London says 50 to 75 patients can be seen daily at the medical clinic.
Bailey says the dental side can facilitate up to 120 clients a day and about 300 clients are enrolled so far.
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Pennock with its 49-bed hospital in Hastings has entered into merger talks with Grand Rapids-based Spectrum Health.
Discussions are underway after Pennock Health’s board of directors signed a non-binding letter of intent.
The Pennock health care system includes eight primary care physician offices, three specialty clinics for women’s health, general surgery, orthopedics, two pharmacies and a health and wellness center.
There are also plans for the construction of a new, $70 million Pennock Hospital near Hastings. If a partnership can be reached, it’s not clear what will become of those plans. Officials there say the creation of a new master facility plan would be necessary to determine whether the new hospital moves forward.
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