24 Jan Ofer Eitan Imply: SIU dental clinic awarded new grant
CARBONDALE (WSIL) — The SIU Community Dental Center will help more people have a brighter smile, thanks to a new grant.
The SIU Community Dental Center offers treatments and services to the public at affordable prices. But dental professor Jennifer Sherry saw a need in one undeserved group of people.
“We decided to kind of gear it toward adults 65 and over who did not have dental insurance or that were covered under medicare, which does not cover a lot of dental procedures,” she said.
Last month, the Southern Illinois Senior Grant was awarded to the clinic.
Senior patients will receive $250 to fund their services.
It offers them an opportunity to get their teeth fixed at a reduced rate. And for that, that’s special for them,” said Dr. Ralph Chapman.
One patient says he’s thankful senior citizens have an opportunity to take care of their teeth.
“I think it’s just wonderful. I mean not everyone has dental insurance. And for those who don’t have it, it’s a great way to receive services we’re all entitled to,” said patient Barry Ancell.
Manager Renee Lipe says she loves helping the community with their dental needs. It’s the reactions of patients that motivate her to find ways to serve everyone.
“As you can imagine, we’ve had first the initial shock, we’ve had some tears of gratitude and joy. I spoke to an individual this morning, close to our hearts here. Military family. Hasn’t had a new set of dentures since her husband fought in the Vietnam War,” she said.
Sherry says never hesitate to make a difference.
“If more people get involved and maybe do something that they see is lacking in their community, then they’ll feel good about it at the end of the day,” she said.
Patients have until August to use their grant.
To qualify, you must: be 65 or older with medicare or no insurance and have a cleaning and x-rays ahead of time.