East Chicago residents will soon have something new to smile about. Kool Smiles, a leading dental health provider dedicated to expanding access to quality dental care for children and families in underserved communities, is opening a new office in East Chicago in partnership with the East Chicago Community Health Center (ECCHC).
The new location will open June 20 and is located within the East Chicago Community Health Center at 1313 West Chicago Avenue. It will be the company's third office in the area, bringing East Chicago residents a convenient option for quality dental care. The grand opening was celebrated on June 15th. Attendees included State Representative Earl Harris, State Representative Charlie Brown, State Senator Lonnie Randolph, Ms Gilda Orange, Chairman East Chicago CHC and East Chicago Councilwoman, Frank Mrvan Township Trustee, Mayor Anthony Copeland, Ms Te-Reika Chambers, representing Congressman Visclosky, Mark Vanderheight, Primary Healthcare Associates, Dr. Gerri Browning, East Chicago CHC Chief Medical Director, Mr. Dwayne Mitchell, CEO East Chicago CHC, Dr. Ricardo Hood, East Chicago CHC Medical Director and Health Commissioner of the City of Gary.
This new office aims to replicate the success of the 2010 launch of a similar center in Gary, IN which is celebrating its one year anniversary. In only 3 months after the Gary public/private partnership was established, dental patient access more than doubled from 12 patients receiving oral health care to over 30 patients receiving oral health care each day. To establish a similar access opportunity for East Chicago residents, the new office will increase access to the area's residents who need it the most, offering families a centrally located resource for dental care that will complement the existing medical offices. The East Chicago Community Health Center is funded by taxpayer dollars through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration.
"This collaboration between the East Chicago Community Health Center and Kool Smiles will help bridge the gap between oral health and an overall healthy lifestyle. The primary care providers of ECCHC will serve as an early line of defense by referring our pediatric and adult patients for oral and dental screenings and the earliest intervention as possible," said Gerri C. Browning, MD. "By working together, the medical and dental providers will decrease the disparities in oral health that plague many of the patients served in the Northwest Indiana region. This is a great day for healthcare in East Chicago and beyond."
"Some great folks put their heads together to make Northwest Indiana healthier. It's something I hope other communities across the country examine, consider and copy. The health of our children, the vitality of our communities and the future of our country depend on it," said Charlie Brown, state representative from Indiana member of the Public Health, Insurance, and Interstate and Internal Cooperation committees and member of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators Corporate Roundtable (NBCSL) in a letter to the NBCSL magazine.
The new Kool Smiles office boasts new digital X-ray equipment and utilizes electronic health records.
"Innovative solutions are required to positively impact underserved communities. When the public and private sector can bring together their best minds to create additional access to quality healthcare, everyone can win. Opening this East Chicago Community Health Center is another important step in raising the overall level of available dental services in this area and remains a unique solution to the evolving oral health crisis," said Dr. Polly Buckey, DDS, MS, a board certified Pediatric Dentist who serves as a spokesperson for Kool Smiles.
SOURCE Kool Smiles