SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has opened a new children’s dental clinic in Juneau.
The clinic is located on the first floor of the SEARHC dental building, 3245 Hospital Drive, according to a release from the organization.
Pediatric dental staff will begin seeing patients in the new space on May 22, with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house planned for June 22.
The SEARHC Children’s Dental Clinic in Juneau opened to all community members in April 2015. Up to that point, SEARHC pediatric dental services were solely available for Alaska Native/American Indian patients. To meet the already growing needs of their existing patients, as well as the community as a whole, SEARHC added two new pediatric dentists and made the decision to open their children’s dental services to the entire community.
The expansion into a larger space had been in the planning stages since 2014, and was the logical next step in providing all children in the community with adequate access to dental care; many of them recipients of Denali Kid Care. More space and more dentists mean SEARHC can care for the oral health of more children in Southeast Alaska. It also allows for more flexibility and convenience when scheduling appointments, which will be helpful for parents trying to juggle busy schedules.
SEARHC pediatric dentist Dr. Kim Hort said, “The Children’s Dental Clinic has grown exponentially over the past few years. We are excited to have a beautiful new space for our patients where they will continue to receive the quality care they expect from our outstanding, dedicated staff. The expansion opens the doors to quicker appointments and the ability to serve more families.”
Making the expansion more feasible was that SEARHC was able to use the first floor of the building that was already housing their dental clinic. The Consortium’s Behavioral Health, Health Promotion, and WIC departments occupied that floor but relocated to the former Administration Building after the SEARHC administrative staff moved across the street into the Juneau Empire building. Planning and construction for the Children’s Dental Clinic began soon afterward.
To finance the expansion, SEARHC sought grant assistance and received several generous awards for which the health care organization is incredibly grateful, the release states. The funders include the Rasmuson Foundation, the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson &Perry, LLP, and the State of Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs.