Partnership expands dental options for patients who can’t afford care

Taylor county Residents who need dental care, such as a filling or extraction, but cannot afford it can benefit from a Collaboration between the Christian Service Center, Abilene-Taylor County Public Health District and the county’s Social Services Department.

Funded through a $ 40,000 grant through the Community Foundation of Abilene, the program builds on an existing model for dental care used by the nonprofit and also serves as something of a replacement for a city dental program that had to shut down due to budget issues.

It also serves to replace services previously offered through Abilene’s Presbyterian Medical Care Mission.

Annette Lerma, director of the Public Health District, said the grant dollars will help pay participating dentists a $ 150 fee to help offset out-of-pocket expenses, an incentive that she and others hope encourages even more to participate.

The program asks those who qualify to contribute $ 20, which will go toward the dentist providing the service.

Jim Clark, executive director of the Christian Service Center, said his organization regularly works with around six or seven dentists that serve “Neighbors” – the agency’s preferred term for clients – who need dental services.

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