CARTWRIGHT ANNOUNCES $300K GRANT TO HIRE DENTISTS, EXPAND ORAL HEALTH IN PIKE COUNTY
Pike County, PA – On Monday, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright announced a $300,000 federal grant to hire dental professionals and expand oral health infrastructure in Pike County. The grant will be awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Department of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to the Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC).
The grant will allow WMCHC to hire two full-time dentists and three dental hygienists at the Pike County Dental Center. It will also allow them to add four dental chairs to the facility. With this new funding, the center is expected to treat an estimated additional 1,975 patients a year, a 26% increase.
“I am proud to support this funding, which will create new jobs and expand health care in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Cartwright, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “I applaud Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers for receiving this award, and for the great work they do for families in our district.
"This funding allows WMCHC to expand its commitment to meet the oral health needs of Pike County residents,” said Frederick Jackson, Executive Director of WMCHC. “Being one of only six applicants awarded grants in Pennsylvania is a testament to both the need in Pike County for expanded dental services and the government’s faith in WMCHC to help meet this need. The Community Health Center program is one of the few federal programs that has had strong bipartisan support. It would not be possible without the support of our congressional leaders. For this we are extremely grateful for Representative Cartwright and his support of the Community Health Center Program and WMCHC."
WMCHC is a rural, federally qualified health center in Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains Lakes region. It primarily serves Wayne and Pike Counties, as well as portions of Lackawanna County. WMCHC operates a group of 11 medical centers, 2 dental centers, and a behavioral center. Additional specialty services in women’s health, general surgery, pulmonary, and cardiology are provided. WMCHC currently employs over 300 people, including over 75 professionals/providers.
The Health Center Cluster grant is awarded by the HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This is the first year the HRSA has focused on oral health infrastructure by awarding $85 million to 298 health centers to provide new services, or to enhance existing oral health services. The HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated or economically or medically vulnerable. Their mission is to improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs.