Grant will provide full-time dentist for Dublin clinic

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Oral health is a critical component of overall health, but over 3.2 million Virginians have no dental insurance. As a result, the cost of even routine dental cleanings can be out of reach for many Virginians. To help address this, the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) has awarded the Community Health Center of the New River Valley (CHCNRV) $83,475 to help underwrite the salary and benefits of a full-time dentist at its dental practice in Dublin. The VHCF-funded dentist will enable CHCNRV to provide dental care five days a week in Pulaski County.

Established in 1981, CHCNRV provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services at three locations: its flagship site in Christiansburg and two satellite offices in Giles and Pulaski counties. With VHCF support, the Pulaski location began offering dental services in early 2019. That support continues in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Virginia Health Care Foundation has invested in the Community Health Center of the New River Valley’s Pulaski dental practice, because we understand that oral health is a key to overall health,” said Deborah Oswalt, VHCF’s Executive Director. “Increasing access to dental care is a VHCF priority. We want to ensure that residents of the New River Valley are able to obtain to the oral health care they need.”

The grant to CHCNRV is one of 11 grants, totaling more than $1.2 million, recently awarded by VHCF to health safety net organizations throughout Virginia. These grants will increase access to medical, dental, and behavioral health care services for uninsured and medically underserved Virginians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Virginia Health Care Foundation is a non-profit public/private partnership with a mission to increase access to primary health care for uninsured and medically underserved Virginians. The Foundation was initiated by the General Assembly and its Joint Commission on Health Care in 1992. Since its inception, it has funded 437 community-based projects across the Commonwealth, and its programs and partnerships have touched the lives of more than 700,000 uninsured Virginians.

For more information about VHCF and its programs, visit www.vhcf.org or call (804) 828-5804.