MORGANTOWN — With regards to public well being in West Virginia, oral well being and dental care should not among the many primary providers required by county well being departments.
Not required, simply desperately wanted.
The proof of that want could be seen proper right here in Monongalia County, the place the state’s solely well being division dental clinic sees roughly 6,000 sufferers annually.
It’s self-funded. It may be versatile in its price scale. And it’s rising.
The Monongalia County Well being Division held a quick ribbon reducing ceremony Thursday for 2 new operatories for MCHD Dentistry’s second ground house.
The growth was made attainable by partnerships with Delta Dental and Highmark West Virginia’s Charitable Fund for Well being, every of which offered $50,000.
It was additionally made attainable by Greg Campbell and Ben McGaha, MCHD’s two-man upkeep and development workforce that dealt with the renovations in-house.
“We got here to them with the challenge, and so they didn’t run away, in order that was first signal,” MCHD Govt Director Anthony DeFelice joked. “They simply do good work and so they do it well timed and so they keep on finances. We merely couldn’t have achieved this if we needed to rent a contractor. We’re very lucky to have these two.”
The brand new dental house was freed up in 2021, when MCHD Environmental Providers moved into a brand new facility, off Hartman Run Street.
Dr. Youseph Kassar is this system supervisor of MCHD Dentistry.
The Morgantown native stated the roomier digs will likely be a profit to each the sufferers and the MCHD Dentistry employees, which he credit with a lot of this system’s success.
“I find it irresistible right here. The primary factor is employees. Some days are simpler than others, but when the employees is sweet, in the event that they assist you, in the event that they know what they’re doing and make it a enjoyable environment, that makes all of the distinction. And I feel the sufferers actually see that as properly,” he stated. “I’m all about doing good dentistry, but when somebody can go away the workplace glad or laughing, then I did good.”
However the work being achieved on the MCHD’s Van Voorhis Street facility is simply a part of the story.
Employees make common visits to Sundale Nursing House’s on-site dental services, routinely verify in at Sensible Path Restoration Middle and WVU Middle for Hope and Therapeutic and go to faculties over a six-county area with Smile Specific.
Tiffany Summerlin is a dental hygienist with MCHD Dentistry in addition to the Smile Specific program coordinator and go-to driver for the 2005 Winnebago turned cell clinic.
She just lately lined up a $500,000 donation from Aetna to buy a brand new, fashionable, built-to-task cell unit.
She instructed the Monongalia County Board of Well being that Smile Specific has served some 1,451 college students in 60 faculties because it was first deployed in 2018. She stated about half these youngsters had a number of cavities, emphasis on extra.
“We’re in a position to affect youngsters who in any other case simply wouldn’t have an opportunity to have a wholesome final result with their oral well being. It’s actually essential the work that we’re doing,” Summerlin stated.
Monongalia County Well being Officer Dr. Lee Smith stated the work being achieved in faculties by Smile Specific displays “the core mission of public well being.”
Board member Donna Tennant agreed, noting it’s not taking place by chance.
“It takes anyone motivated who needs to make a distinction to have the ability to do one thing like this,” she stated to Summerlin. “We undoubtedly recognize that a lot, your motivation and need.”