October 1, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Corporate Communications Manager
800-236-3713, ext. 17420
Delta Dental of Wisconsin Provides Grant to Add Dental Care at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care – Serving Low-Income Adults and Children with Physical and Developmental Disabilities
Stevens Point, Wis., October 1, 2015 – St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care has been awarded a $150,000 grant from Delta Dental of Wisconsin to add dental care services at their new facility which is currently under construction (located at N. 25th Street & W. North Avenue, Milwaukee, WI). St. Ann Center has the ability to receive an additional $50,000 from Delta Dental of Wisconsin, contingent upon finding matching gifts from new donors to the project.
The new facility will include a three-chair dental clinic projected to open in early 2016. In addition to the existing community-based health and educational services St. Ann Center currently offers, they anticipate providing dental care to 400 individuals annually.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 2010 Burden of Oral Disease in the State of Wisconsin, individuals with disabilities have “significantly higher rates of poor oral hygiene and needs for periodontal disease treatment than the general public.” St. Ann Center provides services to 700 plus adults who live with developmental and/or physical disabilities. More than 80 percent have a need for professional dental care due to a number of barriers. Dentists who treat individuals with disabilities also face lower Medicaid reimbursements despite the need for additional chair time to perform necessary care.
St. Ann Center hopes to minimize these challenges and create a dental home for clients where staff can maintain a rapport and consistent care from early childhood through their elderly years.
“Our goal with this grant is to allow St. Ann Center to provide comprehensive care to one of our state’s most vulnerable populations and to help reduce oral health care disparities,” said Ann Boson, Director of Delta Dental of Wisconsin’s Charitable Fund. “We know there is a strong association between one’s oral and overall health. Your mouth is the window into what’s going on with the rest of your body. Without appropriate dental resources, a critical piece of necessary care has been missing for their clients.”
According to Sister Edna Lonergan, Founder and President of St. Ann Center, “When I found out that the adult child of one of our parents had to fly her daughter with special needs to another state for prophylactic care, I knew we had to do something. The gift from Delta Dental is making a dream come true.”
About Delta Dental of Wisconsin
For more than 50 years, Delta Dental has been working to maintain healthy communities and healthy teeth. We provide dental benefits and services to more Wisconsin companies, subscribers, and their family members than any other insurance carrier. Our mission is to improve oral health and wellness by extending access to care, advancing science, and supporting an effective oral-health workforce. Through Delta Dental of Wisconsin’s Charitable Fund, we are committed to advancing solutions for Wisconsin’s oral health.
The new special needs dental clinic at the Bucyrus Campus is also covered in our the Oct-Nov 2015 edition of St. Ann Center’s Seasons of Life newsletter.
Laura Cherek, director of dental care at St. Ann Center, has a lot to smile about. Thanks to her efforts, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services awarded a grant of over $270,000 and Delta Dental bestowed a $150,000 grant* that will be combined to fund a three-chair dental clinic at the new Bucyrus Campus— the first of its kind in Milwaukee.
The clinic, set to open early in 2016, will specifically serve St. Ann Center clients and members of the community of all ages who have cognitive or physical disabilities that prevent them from being treated in standard private practice or community clinics.
“There are few dentists with the training, space or equipment necessary to treat patients with special needs. I know clients who have traveled as far as Minnesota to receive dental care.” – Laura
In collaboration with Bread of Healing Dental Clinic, St. Ann Center will hire their dentist to work at the Bucyrus Campus clinic three days a week. A full-time hygienist will also be on staff. “Our clinic was designed to have enough room to accommodate wheelchairs and a Hoyer lift,” Laura says. “We’ll focus on preventative care rather than extractions—including general exams, cleanings, X-rays, fluoride treatments and basic restorative care such as fillings. Keeping teeth clean not only improves oral health, it can reduce heart disease and diabetic sugar levels.”
Laura expects the clinic to be fully booked within months of its opening. “I’m hopeful we’ll eventually expand to six or even 12 chairs with multiple dentists and hygienists,” she says.
In the meantime, Laura, a registered dental hygienist herself, will stay busy directing the Smiles for Sister Lucille dental hygiene program at the St. Ann Center Stein campus. “I’m averaging 120 brushings a week,” she says. “People really enjoy this one-on-one time.”