LITCHFIELD, Ill. – Lewis and Clark Community College's Mobile Health Unit (MHU) will visit St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 24 as the first step in an effort to help those in need of dental care in that community.

“This kick-off event is one of hopefully many that will be scheduled with St. Francis Hospital. Since transportation can often be an issue for those in need of oral healthcare, the MHU will travel to Litchfield to offer assessment and preventive services,” said Lewis and Clark Dental Hygiene
Coordinator Michelle Singley.

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Dental exams and x-rays, cleanings, sealants and fluoride treatments are offered through the Mobile Health Unit at affordable prices, ranging from $4-20. Medical cards will be accepted and patients will not be refused service for inability to pay. Follow up treatment will be required when the Mobile Health Unit returns later this summer.

“Once the dentist and dental hygienist complete the examination and treatment plan, dental hygiene students will have the opportunity to provide the treatment for these patients – a valuable learning opportunity,” Singley said.

St. Francis Community Outreach Facilitator Vicki Fuller, RN, said dental care was identified as a top area of need through the Community Health Needs Assessment recently completed by the hospital.

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“In 2011, more than 300 emergency department visits at St. Francis Hospital were related to dental health concerns. Lack of appropriate dental care not only results in cavities, but can also lead to systemic illnesses and infections. St. Francis Hospital is excited to partner with Lewis and Clark Community College to increase access to dental care in our community,” Fuller said.

“The oral health needs in the country are great, and our communities are no different,” said Donna Meyer, L&C dean of Health Sciences. “A landmark study, ‘Oral Health in America,’ called the oral status of the nation the ‘silent epidemic’ and linked oral health to overall health and well being. Lewis and Clark Community College is committed to providing these important dental services to local community residents.”

The Mobile Health Unit, partially funded by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is staffed with professional dental providers to provide high quality, comprehensive exams and preventive services for adults 18 to 50 years of age.

“We travel throughout the Lewis and Clark Community College district and beyond to provide dental services to those who don’t always have access to the health and dental services they need,” said Mobile Health Unit dental hygienist Pam Thompson, RDH, who is helping to coordinate the effort.

Appointments are needed to take advantage of this opportunity. To make an appointment, or to find more information, please call (618) 468-4440.

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