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North Carolina Baptist Hospital Receives Grant to Expand Dental Services

The Duke Endowment has awarded $310,000 to North Carolina Baptist Hospitals, Inc. (NCBH), to develop a community-based dental clinic for Medicaid and other patients. The clinic will be located in Mineral Springs, an underserved area of Forsyth County.

A dentist, dental hygienist and two dental assistants will staff the clinic, scheduled to open in July. In addition to providing routine dental care, the staff will work closely with nearby day care centers and schools to offer preventive care for children.

The Mineral Springs site is the second dental clinic that NCBH is developing. Last year the hospital received funding from six organizations to establish a dental clinic on Cleveland Avenue in downtown Winston-Salem. Those organizations include the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Wachovia Bank, the Glenn Family Foundation, Forsyth Early Childhood Partnership, Forsyth County Community Health Fund and the Winston-Salem Foundation. The Cleveland Avenue clinic, set to open in May, will expand the dental services currently provided at Reynolds Health Center, a community medical practice operated by NCBH.

Both clinics will offer a van service for patients without transportation as well as evening hours for patients who can''t leave work during the day. "We''ve worked very closely with the Community Partnership for Dental Health, a coalition of local dentists and agencies, to look for solutions to address the severe shortage of dental services for the Medicaid population," said Jenny Kirksey, community health director for NCBH. "These two new clinics will offer patients a resource right in their own neighborhood."

Established in 1924 by North Carolina industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is one of the nation''s largest foundations. Its mission is to serve the people of North Carolina and South Carolina by supporting selected programs of higher education, health care, children''s welfare and spiritual life.

In 1999, the Endowment approved grants of more than $83 million. Awards since 1924 total more than $1.4 billion.

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