Dental Access to Care 2013


Santa Rosa County:  The dentist (Dr. Kelly LeBeau) and all staff at the Midway SRC Health Department Dental Unit who saw Medicaid kids have been laid off.  The clinic is open one day per week (Wednesday) staffed by the Milton dentist for the time being but may change. Good Samaritan Clinic has been operating out of the Midway facility on Tuesday evenings 4pm-8pm and will continue to do so unless the clinic closes entirely.  GSC would love to have some SR County dentists volunteer to see financially screened patients in their office, for restorations or extractions. Call Fred Cornett  934-3307.

Escambia Dental Coop:  Due to discontinued legislative funding, paid staff will be terminated and the Escambia Dental Cooperative will be closing on October 31.  For the past 7 years, operating out of Pensacola State College Warrington Campus Dental Assisting Clinic, EDC has provided extractions for indigent adults (<200% poverty level) referred by Baptist and Sacred Heart Emergency Departments, St. Joseph’s Free Medical Clinic, Santa Rosa Community Clinic and Escambia Community Clinic.  The clinic also provided an opportunity for dentists to perform pro-bono extractions once they were retired or if they preferred an away-from-office site. 

Escambia County Health Department (Dental):   Due to Medicaid reimbursement changes and Department of Health funding issues, the ECHD will be closing their dental department on October 31, 2013.  The closing of the public health department clinic has been projected for quite some time.  The ProMed Pediatric Dental Clinic on Old Palafox, which has four dentists will continue to see Medicaid children, and Promed Molino Clinic will continue to see Medicaid kids and adults.  The ECHD is working with both ECC clinic and ProMed to educate parents about options for dental care.

St. Joseph’s: Financially qualified and medically cleared patients are screened on Thursday mornings at this faith-based free medical clinic. Drs. Sasser and Hines identify the painful tooth/teeth and contact volunteer dentists to appoint the patient for extraction or, occasionally, restoration.  Many of the patients, especially those with multiple non-restorable teeth, were being referred to EDC each week so that local dentists were only seeing one patient per month or less. With the loss of EDC, we desperately need more dentists to volunteer to treat patients in their office. The state will provide Sovereign Immunity if you sign a volunteer contract. ( Contact if you need one) and we have a “one-strike you’re-out” policy for broken appointments.

Escambia Community Clinic: Our local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located at 2200 North Palafox Street is a large primary care medical home for uninsured and low income individuals.  ECC has urgent care, primary care, women’s health, prescription assistance, case management, outreach sites, and many programs for low income citizens. ECC has a sliding-fee-scale program for uninsured patients (fees based on income and family size with minimum copay of $5).  Beginning November 1, 2013, ECC start a dental program serving Medicaid children and adults, as well as uninsured adults on a sliding fee scale.  The ECC will operate in the Escambia County Health Department building on Fairfield Drive, and has been working closely with the Health Department to transition services for Medicaid clients.  There are 7 chairs in the clinic and the clinic will be open Monday-Friday.  ECC Dental program will see Medicaid children (and adults with “real” Medicaid for emergency extractions). They will also treat financially qualified adults as much as their schedule allows on a sliding fee scale.  ECC will continue school district and Head Start contracts held by the Health Department. ECC is also working with safety net providers on referral processes for uninsured emergent dental cases.

Health and Hope Dental Clinic: As part of the Ministry Village at Olive, the free medical health and hope clinic will expand (target date January 2014) to include 2 dental units and the ability to provide both restorative care and extractions to uninsured, needy adults.  Several dentists from Olive Baptist Church have already committed to volunteering in this new facility and other providers will be welcomed. Their days/hours are to be determined.
Contact Kim Jernigan for further information.