Contact: Natalie F. Tarbet
Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center
287 Western Avenue
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 783-0500

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release:
March 17, 2006

Health Center Receives Grant for Dental Services

The Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center was recently awarded a grant for $110,087 from the MassHealth Access Program (MAP) to upgrade the dental equipment in the five operatories of its Allston/Brighton facility at 287 Western Avenue.

Installing new and more efficient equipment will go far in reducing the average wait times that non-emergency patients of the dental service must wait to schedule an appointment. Even the occasional malfunction of the center’s ageing equipment can cause an entire operatory to go off-line for hours at a time, resulting in last-minute cancellations and scrambling to reschedule. At the same time, new equipment that rarely if ever needs a repair will improve the providers’ flexibility in accommodating same-day or walk-in appointments. “That’s something anyone who has ever had a bad toothache can truly appreciate,” remarked JMSCHC executive director Kathleen P. Phenix in accepting the award.

JMSCHC dental director William Horgan, DDS, thanked MAP on behalf of the population of low-income, uninsured and insufficiently insured families and individuals the center serves six days a week. “The demand for dental services at both our Allston and Waltham sites has far exceeded our projections due to its high quality and affordability,” he stated. “Our ability to treat more patients in need of affordable dental care has reached the maximum because of the wear and tear on the equipment. MAP’s funding comes at a crucial moment: with the efficiencies we foresee from the new equipment, we will be able to schedule significantly more visits per year.”

JMSCHC has offered dental services in Allston since its inception 31 years ago. Under Dr. Horgan, the dental program has been expanded to include hygienic, restorative, crown and bridge, extractions, pediatric dental and a whole raft of other procedures normally associated with primary dental care. These services are offered at both the 287 Western Avenue facility in Allston and at the center’s eighteen month-old facility at 564 Main Street, Waltham. Patients taking advantage of these services are charged on a sliding-fee scale.

The Joseph M. Smith Community Health Center offers high-quality, culturally sensitive and affordable primary health care to the residents of Allston/Brighton, Waltham and surrounding communities, regardless of circumstance. To book an appointment in Allston, please call 617-783-0500, in Waltham, 781-693-3800. As mentioned, emergency walk-in appointments are always accommodated at both facilities.