Dr. Ken Taves, left, and assistant Morgan are among the reasons why the Vernon-based Community Dental Centre is among the province’s best not-for-profit dental clinics. (Photo submitted)

Vernon community dental centre among B.C.’s best

Volunteer organization continues to grow after six years

A check-up for the Vernon-based Community Dental Access Centre shows good news.

The organization, a not-for-profit dental health centre providing dental care for residents of the North Okanagan who are experiencing financial and other barriers to dental health care celebrated six years of operation at its recent annual general meeting, and the board of directors shared information on the remarkable growth of the clinic.

The Community Dental Access Centre (CDAC) opened its doors in September 2012 and in that first year of operation the clinic was open two days a week and provided dental services to 780 patients. The clinic has seen steady growth over the last six years and is currently open five days a week, with two of those days having two dentists working.

The clinic also employs a hygienist.

With the increase in staff there has been a corresponding increase in the dental work provided at a reduced rate. Over the last year the value of services provided was $636,668.00. These values are calculated from the British Columbia Dental Fee Guide which is used by dental offices to put a value on each procedure performed.

The majority of patients attending CDAC receive the full 50 per cent discount on the fees from the Fee Guide and the value of services provided at no cost to the patient reached $315,652.00 over the year time period. Another positive result is the ability to see more patients and there were 2,543 patient visits over the last year. All these services are provided at the 1,200 square foot, four operatory clinic located at 3107C – 31st Avenue in Vernon.

RELATED: A dental program just for kids

“There are around 20 not-for-profit dental clinics across British Columbia, and by all accounts we appear to be the most successful,” said Vic Lepp, president of the CDAC board of directors. “I would like to express my appreciation to all staff, volunteers and board members for making this clinic the success it is”.

“At a 50 per cent discount, the money we receive from patients is not enough to cover our operating costs, and we rely on a combination of grants, donations and fundraising to keep the clinic operating,” said Sharon Melanson, board secretary. “When we receive a donation from an individual we know they have chosen carefully where their hard-earned money should go, we thank them and reassure them their donations keep this clinic operating.”

The clinic would be most appreciative of being chosen as a “charity of choice” by community groups and businesses and if you contact Linda Lutz at the clinic at 778-475-7779, a board member will connect with you.

RELATED: Vernon dental clinic gets a financial boost

The Community Dental Access Centre only serves patients with a financial barrier to dental care that is preventing them from accessing treatment. They must also be residents of the North Okanagan (Cherryville, Lumby, Lavington, Coldstream, Vernon, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Grindrod and Falkland).

The reduction in rate is on a sliding scale dependent upon net family income which must be proven with an income tax assessment notice. If your net yearly family income is less than $30,000 the first step is to phone or visit the CDAC office to register.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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