Health Center Grant to Expand Dental Care
MCHC News Release
Molokai Community Health Center has received a generous grant totaling $149,988 from the Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) Foundation for the expansion of its dental services to improve the oral health of Molokai families.
Funds will be used to purchase state-of-the-art equipment including an intraoral scanner, computed tomography x-ray and motorized dental handpieces that will provide advanced dental care access to underserved residents on Molokai, while addressing the overwhelming increase in demand for oral hygiene and dentistry services island wide.
“We are grateful to HDS Foundation for supporting our efforts to expand advanced dental care for the people of Molokai,” said Helen Kekalia, CEO of Molokai Community Health Center. “With consistent year-to-year growth of new patients, plans are underway to double the size of our current dental clinic and practice that will allow us to provide for the growing needs of residents regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. This gift will be used as a strategic investment in our dental expansion focus.”
Oral health in Hawaii has become a critical public health issue, particularly among the Native Hawaiian population and residents in rural and neighbor island communities. Research shows that untreated dental problems can often lead to major illnesses and even death. Access is key for Molokai families to receive proper dental care, have access to an emergency dentist, and oral hygiene to contribute to good health and overall wellbeing.
Molokai Community Health Center is a community-based health organization integrating primary medical and dental care with behavioral health, wellness, health education and prevention including the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children. MCHC has been recognized for its quality of care as a recipient of the HRSA’s Quality Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for four successive years.