Dental clinic turns to churches for financial help

Facing financial strain, an Indiana dental clinic is turning to local churches in hopes of finding financial support, according to a news story in the Evansville Courier & Press.

"We're in essence looking at every church there is in Vanderburgh County and making an appeal," said Gary Heck, chief operating finance officer for the Vanderburgh County Health Department, during a recent budget hearing, according to the story.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department's dental clinic for the indigent opened on June 26, 2006, at the urging of a group of churches known as Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment. The clinic has more than 3,000 mostly uninsured but active patients, Heck said.

When it was launched, the clinic received $140,000 each from two hospitals that also committed $100,000 each in 2007 and $35,000 each in 2008, the story noted. But this year the hospitals have given no money.

Now the health department is depending on the churches.

"They're the group that initially raised the awareness of the issue and the conscience of the community, so we're going to ask them to help fill that gap, so we can fill teeth," Heck told the County Council, the story concluded.

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