April 28, 2014 (St. Paul, MN) – In a joint effort of the Patterson Foundation, Patterson Dental and other dental organizations and professionals, the Prince of Peace Dental Clinic opened its doors April 1 to low-income residents of the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville and neighboring communities. The 420-square-foot clinic is located within the Mission Outpost complex at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville.
“The Patterson Foundation and Patterson Dental helped us with so many key areas of this project,” said Prince of Peace Mission Outreach Director Eric Elton. “Without these partnerships, this clinic does not exist.”
The Patterson Foundation, a private charitable foundation that is separate from Patterson Dental and Patterson Companies business operations, provided a $10,000 grant to Prince of Peace last fall toward construction and remodeling expenses. Elton said the Patterson Foundation grant helped with heavy lifting needs in areas like plumbing, electrical and other infrastructure costs. Patterson Dental designed the floor plan and provided dental equipment, installation and expertise to ensure regulatory compliance and efficiency.
The clinic held a ribbon cutting and open house on April 8. “It was amazing to see so many volunteers from throughout the community at the ribbon cutting,” said Todd Mueller, who serves on the Patterson Foundation board. “The Patterson Foundation is thrilled to play a role in helping this clinic, and its selfless volunteers provide much-needed dental care to people who may not have anywhere else to turn.”
Members of Patterson Dental’s local branch also attended the ribbon cutting, including Patterson Dental Equipment Specialist Steve Yungner and retired Patterson Dental Manager Rich Kochmann. Both were heavily involved with layout of the clinic and coordination that led to Patterson Dental donating dental chairs, delivery units, X-ray systems, digital technology, Eaglesoft practice management software, handpieces, lights, stools and other core equipment for both operatories.
While the clinic has been open for less than a month, Elton said he’s already hearing how much patients appreciate the care they are receiving. Comments include “I have never had such a good week” and “This is the best thing to happen to me in a long time.” Elton added, “A healthy mouth is a key indicator of our overall health and how well we’re doing. We see this clinic as a great way to help people who are experiencing pain and discomfort get back to feeling good and re-engaging in life.”
The Prince of Peace Dental Clinic is an extension of the Mission Outpost and programs, but also accepts patient referrals from other sources. Staffed almost entirely by volunteers, the clinic holds a triage session every Thursday morning to diagnose conditions and to qualify patients for treatment the following Tuesday evening.
The clinic treats people of all ages who are not covered by insurance for a small fee per visit. Services include emergency care, extractions and pain management, as well as preventive care and education. Elton said plans are in the works to open another treatment session this summer.