Organization Name: CHAS Health
Title of Project: Lewis and Clark Dental Clinic Expansion
Amount of Grant Awarded: $75,000
Organization Website:
Impact of Grant:

In the seven months since the operatories began, we have seen an additional 290 unduplicated patients. During this timeframe, visits have increased by 895 which is an average of an additional 127 visits per month. With the extra space, the LC Clinic was able to hire an additional dental provider, which has made a significant difference in the clinic’s ability to serve more patients. The new operatories also allowed for the addition of new dental assistants to the Clinic’s Dental Assistant Training Program, as the extra space allowed for more students to get much-needed hands-on experience. In addition to increases in patients and visits, LC Dental Clinic Administrator, Christine McLean noted that one of the most positive results of the new operatories is the increased amount of available space in each new operatory. The new operatories are much wider and can accommodate wheelchairs; patients can receive dental care in their wheelchair rather than requiring transfer from a wheelchair to the dental chair. CHAS staff are not licensed/allowed to transfer patients from their wheelchair to the dental chair and were previously unable to care for patients who did not have a caregiver with them who was certified to transfer the patient. The extra space also helps patients who visit the LC Dental Clinic who have economic challenges, such as the means to afford childcare. Previously, a patient who could not get childcare at the time of their appointment had to cancel appointments. With the larger operatories, rather than needing to cancel patient appointments, we can safely accommodate people with children in the larger rooms. Another benefit to the new operatories is that the extra space adds more options in case of issues with older operatories. Occasionally an older operatory is out of service due to equipment or related malfunctions. If this happens now, staff do not have to cancel patients; the additional operatories allow staff to move patients more easily to another space.