Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach’s Neighborhood House held a grand opening for the free dental clinic on Friday, August 20th. Mayor Tecklenburg, partner organizations, grantors, volunteers and community members were on site to see the clinic, learn more about how it came to fruition, and to tour the Neighborhood House facility.
Located at 79 America St. in Downtown Charleston, the free dental clinic’s purpose is to help those without dental insurance or the ability to pay. The dental clinic is available to those living in Downtown Charleston and West Ashley (zip code 29407) and will be open from 12 pm to 4 pm every second and fourth Wednesday each month on a first come, first come basis; although appointments are recommended.
This clinic will provide greater access to oral care and complement other downtown dental resources. Low-Income children and adults are twice as likely to have untreated dental caries in their lifetime in comparison to someone with high income, and the dental clinic is aiming to bridge that gap. BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina Foundation, Trident United Way, Delta Dental and The Medical Society of South Carolina provided the necessary funding to get the clinic off the ground.
“We believe oral care is important to overall health. We also believe that social conditions directly influence an individual’s overall wellness. This clinic gives us the ability to provide oral care as a first step while working with clients to address other needs such as food, clothing, education, financial assistance and job assistance, and plan long-term goals for positive life changes. If debilitating oral concerns are left untreated, individuals usually seek emergency room care – a cost that our community, nor the health system, can afford,” says Ericka Plater, Executive Director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach.
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach provides basic and emergency resources, health, job assistance and education programs to those living in communities spanning Downtown Charleston to Edisto Island. To learn more about the organization, go to www.olmoutreach.org.
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