Grant to help Mainers receive dental care

Posted Aug. 26, 2009, at 9:44 p.m.

The Maine Health Access Foundation has announced $220,500 in grant funding to eight nonprofit organizations that provide dental health care to low-income Mainers with limited access to care. The grant funds will be used to purchase or upgrade equipment and to expand office or clinic space in areas where demand for services has been increasing.

The grant recipients include:

• The Penobscot Nation Health Department on Indian Island.

• The Pleasant Point Health Center at Pleasant Point.

• Waldo Community Action Partners in Belfast.

• Downeast Health Services in Ellsworth.

• Washington County Children’s Program in Marshfield.

A shortage of dentists, particularly in rural areas, and the cost of care are often cited as significant barriers to getting needed dental care.

Since 2002 MeHAF, which was established using the proceeds of the 1999 sale of Maine’s nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield programs to for-profit Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine, has invested more than $2 million to improve oral and dental health care in Maine.