Driven by a shared commitment to increase access to health care for people who are most vulnerable, Ascension Wisconsin and Outreach Community Health Centers (OCHC) are expanding dental services on Milwaukee’s northside. Through this new agreement, Ascension Seton Dental Clinic professionals will provide preventive, restorative and urgent care dental services to children and adults at various OCHC clinics and community locations throughout Milwaukee County.
“We know that dental health is closely related to a person’s overall health,” Reginald Newson, chief advocacy officer, Ascension Wisconsin, explained. “Ascension Wisconsin and Outreach Community Health Centers have worked together to reduce barriers to health care for more than 20 years. With this expansion of services, we have a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate how a health system and Federally Qualified Health Center can work together to improve access to dental care.”
The program launched at OCHC’s Capitol Drive Clinic, 210 W. Capitol Dr., earlier this month. Dental hygienists are located in a lower-level exam room on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Services available include screenings, dental cleaning, sealants, fluoride and patient education for new and existing patients. Every Wednesday during the same hours, Ascension Wisconsin’s Seton Mobile Dental Clinic is onsite to provide a full range of restorative dental services, including x-rays, fillings and extractions.
According to the 2018 Milwaukee County Community Health Needs Assessment, 15% of households had insufficient dental access, and 34% of those households reported cost as a reason for delaying dental care.
“Through this agreement, we can offer much-needed dental services to our clients and the communities we continue to serve,” Connie Palmer, chief executive officer, Outreach Community Health Centers, said. In the last two weeks, more than 20 people have received essential dental care. Program leaders hope to serve an additional 90 patients by Dec. 31, 2020.
To schedule an appointment, patients should call 414-727-6320. COVID-19 safety measures will be in place, including staggered appointment times to reduce the number of patients in a waiting room. All patients and providers are screened upon entry to the facility for COVID-19. Masks/face coverings are required.
About Ascension Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, Ascension operates 24 hospital campuses, more than 100 related health care facilities and employs more than 1,200 primary and specialty care clinicians from Racine to Eagle River. Serving Wisconsin since 1848, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading nonprofit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., operating 2,600 sites of care – including 146 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities – in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.
About Outreach Community Health Centers
Outreach Community Health Centers (OCHC) provides high quality primary, family and behavioral health services to people throughout the Greater Milwaukee area while maintaining its founding mission to serve people experiencing homelessness, people experiencing extreme poverty and the uninsured. OCHC serves some of the most disadvantaged people in Milwaukee County. Residents of the five poorest zip codes make up 40% of OCHC’s service population, and the zip code of our primary service site, 53206, has a median household income that is 48.7% lower than that of the county as a whole. Over the course of 2018, Outreach Community Health Centers served 8,685 people through all programs; 28% were homeless, 33% did not have health insurance at some point in the year and 6.4% were children under the age of 18.
For more information, visit www.ochc-milw.org.