Alaska Community Health Centers Receive Funding To Expand Dental Services
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced $1.4 million in grants to four Alaska Community Health Centers to increase access to integrated oral health care services and improve oral health outcomes for patients in Alaska communities. The four Alaska Community Health Centers to receive funding are:
Front Street Community Health Center, Juneau, $350,000 (contact 586-4230) Peninsula Community Health Services, Soldotna, $350,000 (contact 260-3691) Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Juneau, $349,994 (contact 463-4000) Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Aniak, $350,000 (contact 543-6013)
This funding enables Alaskan Health Centers to expand oral health services provided, and reduce barriers to care. Grant recipients plan to hire additional dentists and other service providers, and increase the number of patients that they can serve.
Oral health problems can be a sign of illness elsewhere in the body. Additionally, lack of access to preventative and routine oral health care for patients facing barriers due to low income or other factors can result in dental conditions requiring costly emergency dental treatment. Most Alaskan Health Centers provide comprehensive health care services that frequently include in-house dental clinics.
Twenty-nine tribal and non-tribal Alaskan Health Centers operate at 180 care delivery sites throughout Alaska. They serve over 107,000 Alaskans per year. All guarantee access to care regardless of the ability to pay, offer a sliding scale discount based on income, and are governed by the communities in which they operate. The Alaska Primary Care Association supports the work of Alaska’s Health Centers by providing technical assistance and advocating for their needs.