Credit: File photo

Credit: File photo

Delta Dental foundation grant supports new clinic in HCMC expansion

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement Tuesday between Hennepin Healthcare System and Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation to create a new dental clinic in the hospital’s new, $221-million expansion.

The Hennepin County Medical Center is funding the new clinic, dubbed the Delta Dental Oral Health Center at HCMC, with a $4.6 million grant from the foundation. The funding will cover half the cost to create the clinic, improve infrastructure and provide operations. 

Rodney Young, CEO and president at Delta Dental of Minnesota and chair of the foundation, said in a statement that the clinic will be a step to “help address unmet needs.”

The clinic will see and treat 85 percent of HCMC’s dental patients who are covered by public programs, are uninsured or qualify as low-income residents, according to a release. The foundation estimates that the clinic will increase access to dental care by approximately 60 percent, an increase of about 11,000 visits annually. 

“We are extremely excited to partner with such an outstanding organization committed to delivering greater access to oral health care,” he said.

The grant will support the creation of more treatment rooms and consult rooms with teledentistry capabilities. HCMC says the funding will also go toward creating a state-of-the-art lab, more space for dental education and greater access for patients with special needs.

“This grant makes it possible to greatly expand access for the most underserved patients,” said Mary Seieroe, HCMC chief of dentistry. “This partnership will help HCMC lead in establishing best practices for integration of dental and medical care.”

HCMC is currently building a six-story clinic and specialty center at its campus in Elliot Park. The project will consolidate 40 clinics across nine buildings into one. 

The expansion is expected to see its first patient in January 2018.