Dental Program and HIV Alliance try to improve care sytem

Lane’s dental program and the HIV Alliance will spend a $21,569 grant to outfit Chemeketa Community College’s satellite clinic with dental chairs and equipment.

The satellite clinic – at the Oregon Institute of Technology on Chemeketa’s campus – is intended to give Lane’s dental students an opportunity to work in a rural area that would otherwise go unnoticed, said Bree Nicolello, public relations coordinator for the non-profit HIV Alliance.

Nicolello said that the DentaQuest Foundation grant will go towards dental chairs and basic dental equipment like mirrors, cotton pliers, hatchet, and spatulas.

Sharon Hagan, program coordinator at Lane’s Dental Hygiene program said that the clinic will help all patients and that they must go through a screening process to get an appointment.

“We are happy to have our Dental Hygiene programs working together to provide needed services for this underserved population,” Hagan said.

o provide a low-cost, comprehensive dental service,” Nicolello said. “Last year, 750 patients were helped within central and southern Oregon. There are about 700-800 patients per year.”

Hagan adds that their prices have stayed at a low price which makes it affordable for low-income patients.

Mary Ann Kozlowski, manager of public relations for the DentaQuest foundation, said that DentaQuest provides grants for oral health issues. Rather than drilling and filling, she said that there are other ways of filling dental cavities.

Kozlowski said that the health care system is broken and that it needs to improve care delivery. Physicians and pediatricians can check mouths early and catch anything at an early stage, then act upon it by getting the patient the right doctor’s information at a local clinic.

Amy Hackenschmidt is a case manager who helps patients in rural areas get medicine and get to their appointments by using her personal car. If the doctor is uncomfortable treating the patient because they feel unqualified to, then Hackenschmidt finds a doctor who is an AIDS qualified doctor.