Volunteers in Medicine, Clinic of the Cascades Looks to Expand Dental Care Program with Grants from Two Foundations


(Photo courtesy of Volunteers in Medicine)

Volunteers in Medicine, Clinic of the Cascades (VIM) looks forward to expanding its pilot dental program after receiving two foundation grants in support of dental services and equipment. Along with primary and specialty medical care, VIM provides low-income, working adults basic dental care and referrals for specialty dental care to our network of pro-bono providers throughout Central Oregon.

In June VIM received foundation grants from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation and the Papé Family Foundation to support its work in dental care, including dental equipment and funding for dental hygienists working with VIM patients. The awards come at an exciting time, as VIM reflects on its 20-year history as a charitable clinic and pharmacy serving Central Oregon and looks forward to VIM’s future.

With support from Central Oregon Health Quality Alliance (COHQA), VIM piloted a program to provide dental care, diabetes education, and support for healthy choices for diabetic patients over the course of two years. Under that program, all dental care was outsourced, but with the project’s success, VIM secured additional grant funding from COHQA for a contracted dental hygienist at our clinic. The hygienist will provide cleanings, x-rays, and treatment recommendations onsite at VIM, and will leverage donated dentists’ services at their offices. With routine dental care provided by the hygienist at VIM, it will be far easier for dentists to intake patients and donate care for the more advanced dental work.

Funding from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation and the Papé Family Foundation supports a project that will establish VIM as the “dental home” for participating patients. The dental home concept was first put forth in pediatrics. There is a broad consensus among national experts that expanding the dental home model and furthermore building medical‐dental primary care integration will improve health outcomes.  For VIMCC patients, the dental/medical home will furthermore provide culturally-responsive integrated care and navigation support.

Dental care will begin with in-clinic services. A contracted dental hygienist will provide the initial cleaning, X-rays, and assessments, with a report for the dentist. For patients with severe periodontal disease, the hygienist will provide scaling and root planing 3-4 times per year. For other patients, they will provide prophylaxis (cleaning) twice annually. VIM’s patient care coordinator will coordinate with the dentist to ensure we have developed a care plan and then secure appointments for patients with a volunteer dentist at their own clinic.

VIM appreciates the support of Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation and the Papé Family Foundation in advancing dental hygiene for low-income, uninsured members of our community. With this funding VIM will help bridge a critical gap in charitable dental care for uninsured Central Oregonians.

About Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades:
Now honoring 20 years of caring, Volunteers in Medicine Clinic of the Cascades provides healthcare to low-income, working adults who live in Central Oregon and have no medical insurance or means to pay for care. Using a community approach, 200+ in-clinic volunteers and 300 local medical partners collaborate to provide patients with necessary primary and specialty medical care, prescription medications and mental health care. Patient costs of $154 per visit are funded by patient donations along with local and regional individual, corporate and foundation supporters. Because of the dedicated efforts of our volunteers, every $1 raised is leveraged into $3.82 worth of services, generating more than $150 million worth of care since VIM opened in 2004.

About Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation:
From its website: “The Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Tribe of Indians has a long and proud history of giving to the communities in which they live and work. In 1997 the Tribe formalized this tradition of philanthropy by establishing a grant making Foundation. The Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, is a private, independent foundation, representing the Tribe, and not to be confused with one of the Tribe’s many economic development endeavors, the Seven Feathers Resort. Each year the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation makes grants to eligible non-profit organizations in communities in Coos, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, and Lane counties. Since its beginning, the Cow Creek Foundation has awarded more than $20 million dollars in grants to community non-profit organizations in the seven-county homeland territory.”

About the Papé Family Foundation:
Local to Oregon and spanning four generations, the Papé Family Foundation seeks to affect in a positive way the communities in which the various family members reside. Founded in 1996 by H. Dean Papé’s retirement fund, the foundation encourages family interaction and engenders family unity and mutual respect. It fosters the members’ interests, activities and values in service, philanthropy, and stewardship.



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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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