Arcora Foundation awards a $100,000 grant to Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe
Arcora Foundation, the Foundation of Delta Dental Washington, has awarded a $100,000 grant to the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe residents for increased access to dental care and additional health services. The grant will expand the existing dental clinic into a new clinic that will be a part of the Tribe’s new Health Services Building that will have seven operating chairs.
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The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe has 1,200 members. The tribe estimates this clinic will serve 352 more patients a year and 2,888 additional patient visits a year. The new dental clinic will have all services — physical, oral, and behavioral health — in one place. The goal is for the faculty to work as one team to serve the patients more efficiently. The clinic will also have a dental therapist.
“Co-locating the new dental clinic with other health programs and expanding dental services will make dental care more accessible and help improve the oral health and overall health of the community,” said Arcora Foundation President and CEO Diane Oakes in a prepared statement.
According to the press release announcing the grant, a 2018 report by the Kitsap Public Health District discovered that only 30% of Kitsap County residents with dental coverage through Medicaid obtained dental care in the past year. Arcora also notes that there is a there is a higher rate of poverty, unemployment, and hunger within the Tribe than the general population of Kitsap County, which affects their overall health.
“Expanding our dental services will help achieve our goal of reducing the high rate of oral disease among tribal members by increasing dental visits for our current patients and serving new patients,” said Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s Health Services Director, Jolene Sullivan.
Dental services that will be available at the clinic include routine hygiene services, fillings, sealants, x-rays, oral screenings for infants, oral cancer screenings, periodontics, and endodontics.
The Port Gamble Dental Clinic provides services to Tribal members, as well as Native people living around the S’Klallam reservation.
“Having all health services in one location will be more convenient for everyone and make it more likely that oral health issues will be spotted early and treated before they become more severe,” said Sullivan.