воскресенье, 16 сентября 2012 г.

Access Health clinic expands. - The Wisconsin State Journal (Madison, WI)

Byline: David Wahlberg

Mar. 7--Two years after opening a clinic on Madison's East Side, Access Community Health Centers has expanded the size of the clinic by half.

But the nonprofit agency, which provides dental and medical care to low-income people, still won't be able to meet a growing demand for services, said Barb Snell, chief executive officer. 'Even this is not enough,' Snell said recently at the clinic on East Washington Avenue, where six dental suites and five medical exam rooms were recently added. 'We need more.' Access, which started operating 25 years ago out of a house on Williamson Street, today has two clinics, including one inside the Villager Mall on Park Street. The agency would like to expand at that site too, Snell said. 'The need is huge in Dane County,' she said. 'It is banging at our door every single day.'

Much of the demand is for dental care, said Dr. Jose Javier, one of four dentists at Access. Many patients who don't have insurance or are on Medicaid, the state-federal health plan for the poor, have a hard time finding dentists who will treat them, Javier said. They often don't receive dental care until they develop toothaches, infections or gum disease. 'By the time they get to us, they're in pretty rough shape,' he said. 'We try to restore their teeth so they're not afraid of smiling and can have a normal diet.' Gum disease can be especially problematic for patients who have diabetes or are pregnant, as it can make diabetes worse and adversely affect babies. The East Side clinic, called the William T. Evjue Clinic, had nine dental suites and 10 medical exam rooms before the expansion. It will provide about 12,000 dental visits and 25,000 medical visits this year. With the additional six suites and five exam rooms, and the planned hiring of three more dentists, the clinic should be able to provide 30,000 dental visits and 30,000 medical visits annually within three years, said Paul Harrison, development manager. Access is a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center, meaning it receives federal money to treat the underserved. Patients pay on a sliding scale, with everyone paying at least $15 per visit. About 58 percent of the agency's $7.5 million annual budget comes from patient fees. Some 23 percent comes from grants and fundraising, with additional money from the United Way of Dane County and the Madison-Dane County Health Department. Tony Ortega of Oregon has been bringing his sons David, 6, and Alan, 5, to Access for three years for dental check- ups and cleanings. 'They really do good care, and the doctors are nice,' said Ortega, who works in a greenhouse.

Copyright (c) 2007, The Wisconsin State Journal

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