Whatcom dentists donated services to hundreds of patients in 2011

Whatcom County dentists donated thousands of dollars in dental care last year to hundreds of adults unable to afford dental services, according to the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access.

The donated dental care was coordinated by the Donated Adult Dental Program and Whatcom Project Access Dental.

The Donated Adult Dental Program, which is run by the Interfaith Community Health Center, saw 28 dentists provide services valued at $54,440 to 170 patients in 2011. Dentists with the program volunteer to see adult patients at the Interfaith clinic two or three days per month.

Whatcom Project Access Dental, run by the Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access, helped 21 dentists donate services valued at $72,000 to 116 patients in 2011, which was the program’s inaugural year. In this program, dentists treat patients in their own offices during regular business hours.

Affordable dental care was ranked “as extremely important” and “very hard to get” in a 2011 survey of Whatcom County low-income residents sponsored by Opportunity Council, United Way of Whatcom County and the Whatcom Community Foundation.

For more information about the Donated Adult Dental program, contact Meagan Swanlund, Interfaith Community Health Center, at meagan_swanlund@interfaithchc.org or 360-676-6177, Ext. 1102.

For more information about Whatcom Project Access Dental, contact Lara Welker, Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Access, at lrwelker@hinet.org or 360-788-6588.

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