LEXINGTON,Ky. (October 30, 2013) – Mission Lexington is doubling the amount of dental care it provides to poor adults in Fayette County thanks to a $150,000 donation and expanded clinic space.
Don and Mira Ball made the donation, which will enable the dental clinic to operate at double its former capacity and leverage almost $500,000 worth of additional dental care. It also will reduce the amount of time spent on the waiting list, which currently has 975 people.
The dental clinic recently moved to 230 S. Martin Luther King Blvd., along with Mission Lexington’s medical clinic. The space allowed an expansion from three dental operatories to six. However, additional funds were needed to provide the staff needed to manage the increase in patient care. Mission Lexington has three to six times more dental chairs than the other local free clinics but has been operating with roughly one-third the staff.
“Every week, we see dental patients who have had a difficult time getting a job with the condition of their teeth, and we frequently have patients that tell us that one of our volunteer providers saved their lives,” said Chris Skidmore, executive director of Mission Lexington. “This generous donation and new location will allow us to serve more people and provide them with better health, improved self-esteem and a greater likelihood of finding a job due to improved appearance and health.”
The donation will enable Mission Lexington to:
• Increase its executive director and dental assistant to full-time positions and hire an additional dental assistant.
• Double the number of patient visits each month.
• Reduce the average time a patient spends on the waiting list. An immediate decrease from 12 months to 5 months is expected. Within a year, it could be decreased to two months or less.
The Ball contribution will fund the expanded dental clinic at 100 percent this year, 75 percent during fiscal year 2014-2015 and 35 percent during 2015-2016. Mission Lexington is working to raise the additional funds to ensure the dental clinic can remain full time after the initial donation has been fulfilled.
Since June 2006, the Mission Lexington Dental Clinic has provided more than $2.3 million worth of free dental care for adult Fayette County residents who live below the poverty line.
The work of the 42 volunteer dentists, as well as technicians and lay people, provides exams, restorative work, extractions, dentures (for a fee), and root canals, as well as other complex oral surgeries not provided at any other free dental clinic in Lexington.
Mission Lexington is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian ministry that provides charitable, educational, social, and community services.