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U.S. News

Oregon: HIV Alliance Given Dental Care Grant

October 18, 2006

The HIV Alliance of Eugene has received a $2 million federal grant to create a model low-cost dental clinic for HIV patients, said Rene Yandel, director of client services.

"Studies have shown that oral health has been linked with overall health, and that's just in the general population," Yandel said. "If you extrapolate that to someone living with a chronic disease, you see how important it is."

The grant will join the HIV Alliance with Lane Community College (LCC) and Community Health Centers of Lane County to provide services ranging from standard cleanings to more complicated work. The clinic could be open by the end of December, according to Yandel.

The alliance will refer patients to the clinic, located at LCC, where dental students will help treat patients. Clients will pay for most dental work on a sliding scale based on their income.

Currently, the alliance receives about $30,000 a year in federal funds to help its 200 clients with dental expenses at full market price, Yandel said. The money usually runs out by May.

"We've only really been able to provide crisis care," Yandel noted. "We should be able to provide about three times the care by having this clinic partnered with LCC."

LCC students will do diagnostic and preventive work; the clinic will hire three or four dentists to do restorative work, said Sharon Hagan, LCC's dental-hygiene program coordinator. The grant, which will provide $400,000 a year over five years, will go to hiring the dentists.

The grant is one of 15 awarded nationwide by the federal Health Resource Services Administration under the Ryan White CARE Act, and the only one given in the Pacific Northwest.

Back to other news for October 18, 2006

Adapted from:
Register-Guard (Eugene)
10.14.2006; Andrea Damewood

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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