North Dakota seeks input on access to dental careHow to improve access to dental care for the poor in spite of a limited number of Grand Forks area dentists who accept Medicaid is the topic of a forum at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Grand Forks Herald Community Room. To attend, you'll need to register for the event no later than today (Thursday).
By: Pamela Knudson, Grand Forks Herald
How to improve access to dental care for the poor in spite of a limited number of Grand Forks area dentists who accept Medicaid is the topic of a forum at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Grand Forks Herald Community Room.
Organizers, including Grand Forks Public Health and the state Health Department, are hoping to hear from area residents.
“There’s a tremendous need to develop creative programs to promote dental health care,” said public health nurse Debbie Swanson. “I think we need to explore systems, too. For example, does Medicaid provide reimbursement at rates that cover the cost to provide the care? Could some services be provided by a nurse? Could the role of the dental hygienist be expanded?”
Among dentists that do accept Medicaid are those at Valley Community Health Center’s nonprofit clinic downtown and probably some private clinics, but they may not be taking on new patients, she said.
The forum is part of a larger project to develop a strategic plan for dental health in North Dakota, funded by a grant the state Health Department received from the DentaQuest Foundation. Other forums will be held in Fargo, Bismarck, Minot, Dickinson and Fort Totten.
The plan will identify ways to improve access to dental care for those that have trouble paying for care or have trouble reaching clinics.
Another part of the project is a state survey of rural areas and the state’s three reservations.
For more info: go to www.NDHealth.gov/oralhealth or call Kimberlie Yineman at the state Health Department at (701) 328-4930.
Reach Knudson at (701) 780-1107; (800) 477-6572, ext. 107; or send e-mail to email@example.com.
If you go
• What: A public meeting to gather input about access to dental care for the poor. A light meal will be provided for free. Everyone is welcome.
• When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday.
• Where: The Grand Forks Herald Community Room.
To register: Call (800) 472-2286 and press 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by today (Thursday, Feb. 2), the registration deadline.