WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today announced a $211,840 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) for Sonoma Valley Community Health Center. The funds will be used to hire additional staff for the health center’s new dental clinic and support staff for the primary care clinic.
“Sonoma Valley Community Health Center does outstanding work to make sure everyone in our community has access to affordable, quality health care,” said Thompson. “I am proud to announce these important funds which will allow our health center to hire more providers and serve more patients.”
“We are pleased to have been afforded the Expanded Services opportunity, which will allow the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center (SVCHC) to allocate resources toward the critical task of provider recruitment,” said Cheryl Johnson, SVCHC CEO. “With this new funding, SVCHC will immediately launch grant-related activities and anticipates the addition of a full-time provider, resulting in an additional 450 patients served for our community. Also, with the addition of comprehensive dental services through our new Dental Clinic, the long-standing oral health disparities and lack of access to dental care in our service area will be remedied.”
The new SVCHC Dental Clinic boasts 1,814 sq. ft. of space, which includes six dental chairs, and will open as part of the new expanded facility in October 2014. The new Dental Clinic is the first and only local dental clinic to address the needs of many of Sonoma Valley’s adults and children. According to a 2010 study conducted by the Sonoma County Task Force on Oral Health, there were only 15 dentists for 109,000 low-income dental patients countywide. The Task Force characterized this as a local health care crisis. As a result, 52 percent of area third-graders have a history of tooth decay – well above the California state average. The new SVCHC Dental Clinic will begin to bridge the gap in oral health care in our region.
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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