Sint Maarten students in Tallahassee to benefit from dental health services…

…after Bond Community Health Center receives State Funding

Sint Maarten Student Coordinator and Executive Director of the Tallahassee-Sint Maarten Foundation (TLH-SXMF) Arthur Lugisse, says he is very pleased to learn that Bond Community Health Center (BCHC) has been awarded funds to provide on-site dental care services. 

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The State of Florida Department of Health has awarded an Expanding Access to Primary Care grant funding in the amount of US$400,000 for the provision of our long awaited on-site Dental Care Services beginning October 1, 2010. Funding will be utilized for outfitting dental operation rooms, staffing, equipment and supplies.

"This will be very beneficial to Sint Maarten students studying in Tallahassee and environs. BCHC already provides health care services for our students. Dental care was always one of the concerns of our students here because it’s normally quite expensive," Lugisse told the Government Information Service (GIS) on Sunday.

Bond Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, provides quality comprehensive family health and support services to more than 3,000 patients each month, serving Leon and surrounding counties.

The BCHC vision is wellness for the whole person, and the health centre continues to enhance and restructure its services by consistently striving to improve the quality of life for the individuals and families in the City of Tallahassee and surrounding environs.

Leon County was designated as a Medical and Dental Health Professional Shortage Area by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the federal government.

BCHC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) J.R. Richards in a press release stated that he was proud that adult dentistry is now available on the Southside of Tallahassee.

Of the greater than 11,000 patients seen in 2009, medical records reveal that 68% of all patients cared for at Bond were found to have oral facial disease or complaints.

Of these, only 34% had some form of medical coverage and fewer than 10% had bare-bones dental coverage. Bond will decrease this disparity in dental health by providing preventive care – sealants, cleanings, oral cancer screenings; education and outreach; emergency services; basic restorative services; periodontal services; and evaluation of occlusion problems, TMJ disorders, and third molar eruptions.

BCHC projects 1600 patients will receive dental care in the first year of operation, resulting in over 3000 visits for screening and/or treatment.

Dental coverage for adults in Florida is at a premium as the 2002 Florida Legislature drastically reduced dental Medicaid benefits to cover emergency extractions only.

The establishment has long overlooked the association between good oral health and quality of life. Providing Dental Care Services at BCHC is a huge step in assuring the delivery of comprehensive quality health care.

BCHC will make a tremendous impact by availing access to preventive dental health services, thereby improving the patients overall health status.