New Dental Program at Maple City Health Care Center
Maple City Health Care Center opened its new dental program and facility on Monday, January 26, 2021. The new dental program offers affordable, high quality dental care to current and future patients of Maple City Health Care Center (MCHCC).
When operating at full capacity, Maple City Dental will serve 2,300 people each year.
MCHCC didn’t have room in its current facilities for the new dental program so the organization purchased and renovated a large house on the north side of Goshen.
The newly renovated house is located at 814 N. Third Street. It borders one of MCHCC’s service delivery sites – Vista Community Health Center and is located six blocks from MCHCC’s second delivery site – Northside Community Health Center. The location assures easy access for MCHCC’s patients.
The Community Foundation of Elkhart County contributed a grant of $156,000 to help purchase dental chairs and equipment for the renovated facility.
“I’m excited that our patients, especially young children, will have access to dental care that is integrated with the clinical and behavioral health care that we offer,” said James Nelson Gingerich, MCHCC’s Guardian of Vision.
“We want to treat our patients as whole people, not as a collection of separate problems. A child who has a cavity will need clinical care such as immunizations and may need counseling for family problems. We are now able to provide all these types of care for that child in a way that is both integrated and coordinated.”
With bilingual staff and on-site interpreters, Maple City Dental will be able to serve people who speak either Spanish or English.
MCHCC will discount the cost of dental care according to a family’s ability to pay.
“Over the years, we’ve discovered a variety of creative ways to make sure that our patients can afford our care,” said Dr. Gingerich. “One example is our More Than Money program that enables patients to volunteer in the community in exchange for their health care.”
MCHCC’s new dentist is Dr. Kamani Meriwether. Dr. Meriwether graduated from the Louisville School of Dentistry and has served at-risk people in Michigan for three years. Her volunteer assignments include the Philippines and remote areas in Kentucky.
“I am honored to be trusted with this new program,” said Dr. Kamani. “I look forward to treating my patients with compassion and providing excellent dental care as part of our integrated health center.”
In addition to Dr. Meriwether, Maple City Dental employs two hygienists, two dental assistants, a front office receptionist, and Guadalupe Ontiveros who will serve as the center’s manager.
Martha Lozano is the center’s receptionist. “For me, this new job is a dream that came true,” Martha said. “I first came to Maple City with my family as a four year old girl. Maple City helped me and my family all these years and now I get to work here to help others.”
“Opening our new dental program today feels like opening a belated Christmas present,” said Dr. Gingerich. “It’s a present for us and our mission, a present for our patients, and a present for our community. We trust that the program will help foster a healthy community for decades to come.”