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Care Free Dental Clinic gets $26,400 in grants

Courtesy photo The panoramic x-ray machine recently purchased by the Care Free Dental Clinic helps detect decayed or abscessed teeth.

ESCANABA — The Care Free Dental Clinic of Delta County is pleased to announce it has received $26,400 in grants made in collaboration by Superior Health Foundation, Community Foundation for Delta County, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to purchase new state-of-the-art panoramic digital x-ray equipment.

According to the Care Free Dental Clinic Board of Directors, the clinic was in need of the panoramic digital x-ray equipment to help detect patients’ decayed teeth, abscessed teeth and also to take digital x-rays.

“This panoramic digital x-ray equipment will enhance the care given to our patients, as well as make it easier to treat them,” said Mary Uelmen, president of the clinc’s board of directors. “When it is used, the dentist can see the entire face, including all the teeth, the jaw bone and the sinus cavity, and can detect carotid artery disease, along with suspicious areas that may lead to cancer of the jaw.”

Mary Uelmen and Nancy Larche, treasurer for the board of directors, co-wrote the grants for the panoramic digital x-ray equipment.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Care Free Dental Clinic, we’d like to thank the Superior Health Foundation, Community Foundation for Delta County, and the State of Michigan for their generous donations to the panoramic digital x-ray project. It is largely due to their generosity that patients in Delta County will continue to receive the highest quality of dental care,” Uelmen and Larche said in a statement. “We are also thankful to Patterson Dental for giving the panoramic digital x-ray equipment at a discounted price, St. Vincent de Paul Society for providing the Care Free Dental Clinic the rent-free location in their Service Center in Escanaba, DS Tech for their donation of a computer, software and virus protection that runs the panoramic digital x-ray, and to all of the volunteers who give of their time and talent to help Delta County residents in need of dental care who do not have insurance.”

The executive director of the Superior Health Foundation said he found the work of the Care Free Dental Clinic to be valuable.

“Anytime the Superior Health Foundation has a unique opportunity to collaborate with a funding partner on a worthwhile project, we welcome that opportunity,” said SHF Executive Director Jim LaJoie. “Our foundation team and board of directors applaud the wonderful, caring work of the Care Free Dental Clinic. This serves a real need in Delta County, and we are honored to provide matching funding to the Community Foundation for Delta County to make this project happen.”

Uelmen added the Care Free Dental Clinic is grateful to all of their volunteers, including dentists, registered dental assistants, certified dental assistants, board members, and front desk volunteers.

Dentists who currently donate their services to the Care Free Dental Clinic are Dr. Paul Jacobs, Dr. Peter Jacobs, Dr. Kyle Bosk, Dr. John Skellenger, Dr. Perry Uhazie and Dr. Scott Kelly.

Founded by Dr. Paul Jacobs’ wife, Paula Jacobs, RN, the Care Free Dental Clinic started 12 years ago. Since then, local dentists and their assistants who volunteer at the clinic have given approximately $2 million worth of free dental care to approximately 3,000 Delta County patients. The Clinic provides tooth extractions and fillings to the growing number of Delta County residents without dental insurance.

“The clinic was started when Paula and I decided we wanted to give back to the community by donating dental services to those in need,” said Dr. Paul Jacobs.

Now, 12 years later, the clinic relies on donations to keep its doors open. “God has cleared a path for us,” Dr. Jacobs said. “Every single penny that is donated goes toward supplies for the clinic. It’s been a wonderful thing – God always provides. It’s proof of the power of prayer.”

For more information, search “Care Free Dental Clinic of Delta County” on Facebook.

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