Children Volunteer Health Network hosted a ribbon cutting for its new on-site dental clinic on Lynn Drive, next door to its administration building, Friday, May 04, 2012 shortly before noon. The new clinic is in addition to the organization's mobile unit and offers three treatment rooms and the latest in dental technology.
Approximately 50 people, including several county officials, were on hand to help celebrate the new chapter in the non-profits continuing success. Tricia Carlisle-Northcutt, founder and president of CVHN, gave opening remarks, along with County Commissioner Cecelia Jones. Prior to the ceremony, Executive Director Zach Billingsley offered SoWal these insights.
How did the idea of a brick and mortar clinic come about?
We purchased two buildings in October 2009 with the intention of having one building be our administrative office and the other to be used to expand our services at some point in the future.
Over the past few years, we noticed 65 percent of the kids being seen on our Mobile Dental Clinic had severe decay requiring prompt restorative care. Our in-network volunteer providers are taking on as many kids as they can but it's just not enough.
There have been up to 25 kids at a time on our waiting lists for restorative care. We applied for a grant in 2010 to build out and equip the second building to become a three chair dental facility. We were blessed to be awarded the funding to make this dream a reality and here we are today.
How has the dental clinic been funded?
Our dream of this clinic has become reality because of the Dugas Family Foundation. We have also received generous support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Florida. Individuals like Ryan Jumonville, a Destin resident, are participating in the fundraising campaign for the clinic. The majority of our operating funds come from corporate sponsors and individuals within the community. We have various naming opportunities available inside the clinic that will help us reach our annual fundraising goal for the clinic of $250,000.
Do you still need items to furnish the clinic?
No furnishings are needed at this time. Dental supplies such as toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste are always needed.
How many children do you estimate the clinic will see, monthly, yearly?
We are currently getting the word out to schools in Okaloosa and Walton counties with the hope of reaching around 84 kids a month and 1,000 kids per year.
Is there anything you would like people to know about CVHN
Our hope is the addition of this clinic in combination with the CVHN Volunteer Provider Network, our Mobile Dental Clinic and other resources in our area, will allow all uninsured and underinsured children in Walton and Okaloosa County to have access to quality dental care. We welcome the community to call our office to learn more about becoming involved.