Tuesday, 19 October 2021 09:59

Ford-Sponsored Initiative Donating Mobile Clinics to 2 Michigan Dental Health Providers

Kyle Norman of MCDC talks to Deanna Alexander of Hygiene on Wheels. Kyle Norman of MCDC talks to Deanna Alexander of Hygiene on Wheels. Ford


...exceptional patient-centered care, My Community Dental Center (MCDC) is Michigan’s largest state-wide nonprofit dental service organization.


With 34 locations across the state, MCDC provides comprehensive dental care for all, including patients enrolled in Medicaid, Healthy Kids Dental, Healthy Michigan Plan, private or commercial insurances and those who are uninsured.


“Working in Detroit, we have witnessed firsthand challenges and struggles related to poverty, unemployment and health disparities. Reliable transportation is one of the most common barriers for patients. These challenges are heightened for persons with lower incomes or for those enrolled in Medicaid,” said Dr. Deborah Brown, CEO, My Community Dental Centers. “According to recent American Community Survey data, approximately 41% of the population in Corktown and Mexicantown are enrolled in Medicaid alone or a combination. We are so pleased to be a part of this partnership providing a mobile solution to improve access to dental care within these two communities---delivering one smile at a time!”


Improving Public Health and Building Community Wealth


There are multiple barriers that limit or prevent people from receiving dental care in urban areas like Corktown and Mexicantown, including financial constraints, the inability to take time off work or school, access to reliable transportation or even long-held beliefs of distrust or fear of the dentist.


Bringing care to individuals at their home or in their community can open doors for beneficial conversations and relationship-building with dental professionals in a more convenient and user-friendly way.


“This partnership is about improving public health and building community wealth,” said Margaret Trimer, vice president of strategic partnerships for Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. “We are not solely investing in dental care but lifting up minority entrepreneurs so they can provide critical access to care right here in Detroit.”


The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship reports that though minorities make up 32% of the population, minority business ownership represents only 18% of the population. In the field of dentistry specifically, data from the Health Policy Institute indicates Black and Hispanic dentists are significantly underrepresented in the profession, accounting for less than 4% and 6%, respectively, of the dentist workforce in the U.S.


“Access to oral health care is important to me, and I am glad to be part of an initiative where we have the opportunity to...