New Dental Clinic Opens to Serve Alachua County Residents

  • Southwest Dental Clinic, part of Florida Department of Health in
    Alachua County’s Dental Emergency Department Diversion Program, offers
    Gainesville families new option for care
  • Funded by a $1.85 million grant by United Health Foundation

GAINESVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Families in Alachua County have a new option for oral health services
with the official opening of the Southwest Dental Clinic, located in the
Linton Oaks neighborhood, by the Florida Department of Health in Alachua
County.


Public officials, University of Florida College of Dentistry
representatives, community leaders and residents toured the new
facility, which is funded by a $1.85 million grant from United Health
Foundation.

The Southwest Dental Clinic is part of the Florida Department of Health
in Alachua County’s Dental Emergency Department Diversion Program. The
program aims to improve access to oral health care for Alachua County
residents, who now will have an alternative for services instead of
going to the emergency room for unmet dental care needs.

“We are thrilled to receive United Health Foundation’s support in
opening the Southwest Dental Clinic,” said Paul Myers,
administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
“Through this generous grant, we are able to provide the Gainesville
community with the necessary services to deliver quality and effective
care.”

The Southwest Dental Clinic will provide preventive and restorative
dental care such as examinations, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatment,
fillings and tooth extractions.

“United Health Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to support the
Southwest Dental Clinic, working with organizations such as the Florida
Department of Health to provide greater access to quality dental care
for the people of Alachua County,” said Michael Lawton, CEO of
UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida.

A lack of dental care for low-income Americans has long put stress on
hospital emergency rooms, according to a recent study published by Health
Affairs
. As of January 2013, about 45 million Americans were living
in rural and urban regions with shortages of dental care providers.

The grant to support the dental clinic is part of United Health
Foundation’s “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program that is
providing critical resources to organizations across the country to
improve people’s health. The grant will be administered by the Florida
Department of Health in Alachua County over a three-year period.

“The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners recognizes the
importance of access to public health dental services,” said Charles
“Chuck” Chestnut IV, chair of the Alachua County Board of County
Commissioners. “The significant funding United Health Foundation has
provided to our county health department will secure access to services
that are in great demand.”

The Dental Diversion program will be implemented in coordination with
the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County’s Southwest Health
Clinic. Success measures will include improvement in access to
preventive and restorative dental care, and reduction in health care
costs.

The clinic is located at 816 SW 64th Terrace in Gainesville, across from
the Southwest Advocacy Group Resource Center. To schedule an appointment
or learn more about oral health services, residents can call
352-225-4320.

About the Florida Department of Health in
Alachua County

The Florida Department of Health in
Alachua County works on a daily basis to protect, promote and improve
the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and
community efforts. Our vision is to be the healthiest state in the
nation and we are guided by our core values of innovation,
collaboration, accountability, responsiveness and excellence
(I.C.A.R.E.).

About United Health Foundation
Through
collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts,
United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a
diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local
communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth
Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation
dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health
Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and
communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.

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Contacts

United Health Foundation
Buddy Castellano, 952-931-4775
buddy_castellano@uhc.com
or
Florida
Department of Health in Alachua County
Paul D. Myers, MS,
352-334-8873
Paul.Myers@flhealth.gov