ADAMhs Board funded mobile dental van is on the road

A mobile dental van operated by Health Partners of Western Ohio and funded by the Four County ADAMhs Board has started visiting area schools.

Rob Giesige, ADAMhs Board CEO, reported on the van at Thursday’s meeting of the Four County ADAMhs Board. To make the dental outreach program that will eventually serve behavioral health clients as well as area schools possible, the board last year approved $130,000 for Health Partners to purchase and equip the van.

A dentist and hygienist travel in the van which is equipped to provide dental exams as well as cleanings and sealants. If dental problems, such as a cavity, are discovered, the patient can be scheduled for an appointment for additional services at the Bryan Community Health Center, which is operated by Health Partners of Western Ohio.

Megan Hall, Health Partners’ school-based health and dental outreach center director, said that all services provided on the dental van are free to the patient and the patient’s family. Health Partners will bill Medicaid or private insurance; however, there are no co-pays or out-of-pocket fees for the patient.

She added, that if the patient does not have dental insurance, then Health Partners will write off the charges.

So far, about 20 area school districts have asked to participate in the dental outreach program. The school district explains the program to student families. Families that want to participate must complete a consent form. Once the forms are returned to the school, the van will be scheduled to visit the school.

Patrick Henry schools were the first to be visited by the mobile dental van. Giesige reported that over a two-day period the dentist and hygienist saw 72 students.

“Using dental outreach services is not only convenient for families,” Hall said, “patients also receive good quality services.” She explained that Health Partners has received national quality awards.

She added that the dental outreach program saved students and their families $12,000 at one Toledo school.

The ADAMhs Board meeting approval agenda was rather light. However, the board approved a contract amendment with Maumee Valley Guidance Center for up to $18,000 for a residential placement.

Todd Hugg was elected to serve as board chairperson for the remainder of the current fiscal year. He replaces Dan Koch who resigned from the board last month.

Board member Sandy Herman asked if any of the ADAMhs-funded agencies were affected by the federal government shutdown. All of the agency directors who were in attendance said they have not been affected by the shutdown at this time.

However, two agency directors noted that some of their services are federally funded and that if the shutdown were to drag on for months, then it could impact some of their services.