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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 2006

Dental Clinic, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas

2006 Winner
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

From more than 150 grant projects supported by the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund in 2006, the Dental Clinic of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas has been selected to exemplify the vision of a Christian health community. A grant of $100,000 partially supported the purchase and renovation of a 5,200 square foot facility to house the Community Health Center's new dental clinic in downtown Pittsburg. The clinic opened in August of 2005 and has excelled in each of the four criteria used to evaluate projects for recognition as the Janet Sevier Gilbreath Project of the Year.

On attainment of goals and objectives, the clinic is providing dental services to nearly 1,000 low-income patients every month. Before the new clinic opened, dental services were available only one day a week in a 144 square foot room with just a single dental chair. Waits of six months to receive needed treatment were not uncommon. Today, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas' 12-chair dental clinic, staffed by three full-time dentists, is the largest in Kansas and is making a major impact on access to dental care throughout the region.

On utilization of volunteers, the clinic grew from the vision and extraordinary commitment of a volunteer, local dentist Dr. Daniel Minnis. He spearheaded an innovative partnership between the dental clinic and a new dental hygiene training program through Fort Scott Community College. The two programs share the clinic facility and some staff. Not only did this arrangement expand the capacity of the clinic with the services of hygiene students as they are being trained, but it also expanded the role of the clinic to include clinical education and an orientation to public health for hygiene students. In addition, dental professionals regularly volunteer services at the clinic.

(L-R) Douglas Stucky, Jason Wesco, Krista Postai, and Daniel Minnis of the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas and its Dental Clinic received the 2006 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project of the Year award at a ceremony in Hutchinson, KS.

On the development of community, church and other support, the clinic continues to grow and develop new partnerships as it reaches out to provide onsite services to schools, children's programs, and long-term care facilities. Grants, revenue, and widespread community support underpin the important work of the clinic and its growth in staff and services.

On the institution of good management and financial practices to assure quality service delivery, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas may well be writing the book on how to effectively and efficiently manage a unique partnership between a safety net clinic and dental hygiene school. The clinic is breaking even financially even though it serves a largely uninsured population. While continuing to successfully manage a rapidly growing dental operation including outreach services, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is now planning to add another dental clinic to its new medical facility.

Representing the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas and its Dental Clinic: Krista Postai, CEO, Douglas Stucky, CFO; Jason Wesco, COO, and Daniel Minnis, DDS.

Awarded May 16, 2007

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award