WATERTOWN — The Northern New York Community Foundation’s Board of Directors approved a $25,000 award during its last quarterly meeting that will help the North Country Family Health Center expand oral health care services at its main Arsenal Street location, which will provide safe and affordable access for patients while decreasing dependency on hospital and emergency room care across Jefferson and Lewis counties for oral health cases.
This will enable the health center to move forward with a planned 1,200-square-foot renovation, which will convert current administrative space to create three new dental exam rooms and a lab, which will allow the Health Center to expand oral health care services at 238 Arsenal St.
Health center officials anticipate about 2,100 patients annually will gain access to affordable oral care when the new space opens by the end of this year.
North Country Family Health Center CEO Joey Marie Horton said access to oral health care is an “essential part of an individual’s overall health and well-being,” in a statement about the grant.
With the support of the foundation, this expansion will allow for additional restorative dental procedures to be completed on site and will increase staff by one dentist and one dental hygienist.
Ms. Horton added that the health center accepts all patients, and offers a sliding fee scale based on income, so the additional dental services will enable all residents to access proper preventive care that could prevent costlier oral medical emergencies.