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ConnextCare offering expanded dental services in Oswego County

ConnextCare offering expanded dental services in Oswego County

Residents throughout Oswego County will have more access to dental care with $250,000 in state money provided by state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie.The money will be provided to ConnextCare, formerly known as Northern Oswego County Health Services, to establish a new dental clinic and connect more people — especially children — across the region with easier access to dental health care services.In addition to establishing a new clinic, ConnextCare will also be able to purchase much-needed dental equipment and initiate new student-focused services at a number of local school districts, including those serving younger students. In all, the new clinic could serve 1,000 children in its first year.This is especially important in Oswego County because in Oswego County, the ratio of available dentists to patients is about half the state average. The county ranks 38th in the state per the Robert Wood Johnson Institute annual health rankings.The number of available dentists is even worse for low-income families on Medicaid. While New York is one of just a handful of states that covers dental care through its Medicaid program, there are no dentists who accept Medicaid in Oswego, Jefferson or St. Lawrence counties. The closest dentist to accept Medicaid is in New Hartford, outside Utica. “Throughout so many rural communities, including Oswego County, there is a significant lack of dental services. Many families, and unfortunately children in these underserved areas, end up going without and that can often lead to more serious health issues,” said Ritchie, who serves as deputy vice chair of the Senate Health Committee. “Not only will this funding help ConnextCare establish a new clinic, it will allow them to focus on meeting the dental health needs of more than 1,000 Oswego County residents — including hundreds of school-age children — with little or no access to routine dental care.”“We are delighted with the opportunity to expand our dental services to a broader population throughout Oswego County, especially for the people who aren’t able to easily get these important services any other way,” said ConnextCare Chief Executive Office Daniel Dey. “ConnextCare cannot thank Sen. Ritchie enough for her help in making sure the people of Oswego County are afforded every opportunity to live a healthier life.”In 2016, Ritchie helped bring “S-miles to Go,” — a program that uses portable dental equipment and a mobile dental van, which are provided and staffed by the University at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine, to bring dental care to schools — to the Hannibal Central School District. The program has operated for several years in the Southern Tier and Western New York. After discussing the need for dental health programs with Hannibal Central School District Superintendent Christopher Staats, Ritchie worked to bring the program to Central New York.
Source: Watertown Daily Times Latest News
ConnextCare offering expanded dental services in Oswego County

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