Mo. foundation gives $450K for adult dental care

The Skaggs Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on improving health and wellness, recently secured a $449,659 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to provide emergency and preventive dental care for adults lacking dental insurance or the financial means to obtain these services.

The program is a collaborative effort of several area nonprofits and has been in development for more than two years.

The grant will provide resources for Tri-Lakes Community Health employ additional dental staff to work at the Faith Community Health Clinic in Branson. Additional patient referrals will come from Jordan Valley Community Health Center in Hollister, Tri-Lakes Community Health, and Cox Medical Center Branson's emergency department and clinics.

Services made possible by the grant are expected to begin in October 2014. Dental care will be provided three days a week, and qualifying patients will pay based on a sliding rate scale and their ability to pay.

Approximately 1,700 visits are expected during the first 12 months of operation. In subsequent years, the focus is likely to transition to more education and intervention, reducing the need for emergency dental care, according to the foundation.

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