Children’s dental clinic could be coming to Allied Drive Boys & Girls Club

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Boys & Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson said Thursday the organization wants to add a dental clinic to its Allied Drive location on Madison’s west side.

The clinic would be modeled after other successful clinics in Stevens Point and around the country, Johnson said.

The Boys & Girls Club of Dane County has received money from Delta Dental of Wisconsin to partner with the Madison Dental Initiative to draw up plans for the clinic. The Madison Dental Initiative (MDI) has a similar clinic set up in the Salvation Army downtown.

Madison Dental Initiative director Curtis Henderson wrote and won grant money for the project.

“We are excited about this partnership and looking forward to serving their members,” Henderson said.

“It’s one we’re really excited about,” Ann Boson, charitable fund director at Delta Dental Wisconsin, said. “We had enough of a concept and we definitely had a need identified in the region.”

Johnson said the Allied area is an underserved community that has many kids in need of dental care. He said statistics show oral health issues are one of the main reasons children miss school.

“This area’s already a food desert (and) in some cases a shopping desert,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure that kids have access to oral health care so they’re healthy, and we’ve got hundreds of kids coming in here every day. Why not put a dental clinic right here?”

Many of the children who go to the club have never been to a dentist and have transportation and financial barriers that keep them from getting proper care, Johnson said.

“Some families may not have transportation, you have some mothers that may be single, working two jobs,” he said.

Johnson said the clinic is in the planning stages, and the club is working with MDI, Delta Dental and Findorff Construction to figure out final plans for the clinic.

“What I’m hoping is that we’ll have three or four chairs that would be here, local dentists in the community will donate their time, their talent and their treasure to meet the unmet need of kids who need these services,” Johnson said. “We’re looking at what the costs would be, what the plumbing would look like, how do we secure the medicine that would be in here.”

Johnson said the clinic could be in operation within six months to a year. He said an eye clinic could also be added in the future, based off a program at a Boys & Girls Club in St. Louis.

“We want this to be a one stop shop,” Johnson said.

Johnson said additional funding from community donations could help make the clinic a reality. Visit the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County’s website to learn more.

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