County expected to get 2 new dental clinics

Dental clinics to serve Medicaid and uninsured patients are expected to open in Sturgis and Coldwater by the end of September after the recent approval of an inter-local contract.
Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency board OK’d a recommended agreement with the non-profit group “My Community Dental Centers.”
Health officer Rebecca Burns said the clinic will fill a much-needed service in both communities, neither which has enough dental providers to serve the lower-income population, she said.
Medical director Lauren Vogel said tooth decay is an infectious disease that can lead to diabetes and other infections in the blood stream.
With the contract in place, MCDC plans to sign a lease at 1525 E. U.S. 12 in Sturgis, for a four-chair dental office with an option for two more chairs.
Former state senator and board member Bruce Caswell pointed out that under the “Smiles” program, Medicaid children’s dental treatment is reimbursed at 80 percent of commercial rates.
The agreement is for five years, with a five-year renewal clause.

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