The Access Dodgeville Dental Clinic will be able to take on an additional 1,500 to 2,000 patients annually — many of them low-income individuals — in an expansion made possible through a $250,000 state grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
The City of Dodgeville will receive a Community Development Investment Grant from WEDC to help make the $774,885 clinic expansion a reality.
Access currently provides comprehensive dental care to about 4,000 patients each year, a majority of whom are underserved, underinsured and at or below the federal poverty level.
“One of the reasons for the grant program is to improve not only the economy of communities, but their quality of life — and access to good dental health care is a critical part of that,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “In addition, the Dodgeville expansion is expected to support six more full-time, family-supporting jobs.”
Access — a Federally Qualified Health Center — now occupies the first floor of a building at 103 E. Fountain St. The project will allow it to move into the second floor, doubling its current 4,000 square feet. It will provide an additional four dental operatories, bringing its total to 12 operatories.
The expansion will also include installing an elevator and updates to its HVAC system to optimize air quality.
The City of Dodgeville has been a strong proponent of the project and the clinic, which began providing dental services in 2009.
“The Access dental clinic has made a significant difference over the years by providing care to thousands on an annual basis.” said state Rep. Todd Novak, who also serves as Dodgeville’s mayor. “This grant will enable the clinic to expand beyond its current footprint and continue to provide essential services. The growth of the clinic has been amazing to see.”
The clinic is part of Madison-based Access Community Health Centers. Its CEO, Dr. Ken Loving, said the expansion is needed to broaden the clinic’s impact and provide much-needed dental care to the community.
“We have been honored to partner with individuals and organizations to bring quality, compassionate dental care to the people we serve,” Loving said. “This expansion is critical in our efforts to serve more people and improve the health and improve the lives of people throughout southwest Wisconsin.
WEDC’s Community Development Investment Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.