Piedmont Access to Health Services, Inc.(PATHS) announced today it will relocate its Community Dental Clinic from Danville Community College’s (DCC) Foundation Hall to its 705 Main Street offices following a unanimous vote by 12 Board of Directors, which includes 8 patients.
“The decision makes sense for multiple reasons, as well as demonstrates our flexibility to adjust and respond to the growing and changing needs of the communities we serve,” said Kay Crane, Executive Director. “The relocation will also be more convenient for our patients, who will be able to get all their medical, dental and pharmaceutical needs met under one roof.”
“PATHS has a proven track record for aggressive growth,” said William Crumpton, Chief Operating Officer. “We knew the location at Foundation Hall would be a starting point for the Community Dental Clinic. We have reached capacity sooner, rather than later. The relocation allows us to move into a much larger space (more than double the square footage), expand services to provide dental care to an additional 2,664 citizens, add more chairs and grow our staff of providers.”
PATHS – which is one of 1,250 Federally Funded Qualified Health Centers in the country and one of 28 community health centers in Virginia – is set to receive $250,000 in additional funding from the federal government which is designated toward providing quality, affordable and accessible dental care to Southside Virginia citizens.
“Our mission is to provide quality healthcare (defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being) to all citizens, regardless of their ability to pay,” said Crumpton. “The additional funding shows the government’s commitment to giving everyone access to healthcare in support of the March 23rd passage of the National Health Care Reform Law.”
The relocation will not take place for three to six months, according to Crumpton, who is already drafting Request for Proposals to distribute to contractors. Little costs will be associated with the move. PATHS owns the Main Street facility, which will require some renovation to retrofit the space for a dental clinic. PATHS will temporarily move its administrative offices down a few doors into their previous location, which has already been renovated and is move-in ready at the old Belk building, 403 Spring Street.
PATHS Community Dental Clinic opened in February 2010 and offered dental services to over 100 patients its first month. That number grew by more than 20 percent per month. In the summer months, a single dentist and three students from Virginia Commonwealth University consistently treated over 200 patients per month. Continued growth is expected and PATHS executives said they will continue to provide hands-on training to DCC dental hygienist students. Community Catalyst reports 83 million Americans lack access to dental care, which is nearly double the 46.3 million Americans who lack medical insurance, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers. Nearly 15 percent or over 15,000 residents in Danville and Pittsylvania County did not have health insurance in 2009, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey. Following national statistics, this means approximately more than 23,000 residents in Danville and Pittsylvania County do not have dental care.
PATHS operates three community health centers in Danville, Chatham and Martinsville; the Community HIV/AIDS Assistance Program (CHAAP), Southside Virginia MEDAssist (access to prescriptions); and the Community Dental Clinic. PATHS delivers high quality medical, dental and pharmaceutical care to everyone, including the uninsured, under or partially insured, and insuredl. PATHS accepts all forms of insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, as well as offers sliding scale payment options based on income for those who qualify. When people with dental insurance or Medicaid chooses PATHS’ Community Dental Clinic for their dental needs, they make it possible for those less fortunate to receive the same quality healthcare.