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West Virginia initiative provides free dental care to needy residents
Updated: 6/16/2009 7:00:30 PM

With the California budget calling for the elimination of Medi-Cal benefits including dental care, many Americans are left to wonder how they will afford annual exams without dental insurance.

One program in Martinsburg, West Virginia aims to improve the area's dental health care, according to the Herald-Mail.

Many residents in the Eastern Panhandle cannot access dental health providers, even if they have insurance due to low income and the facility locations.

The news provider reports that the closest oral health clinic is located in another town, a 90 minute trip away.

To solve this problem, the Mission of Mercy project was introduced to raise awareness of this issue and provides one free oral health service to each needy resident.

Jan Callen of the Eastern Panhandle's branch of the United Way tells the news provider that last year, 1,100 received care and "that [figure] crystallized that there truly was a problem and that people truly could not get access to dental care in the Eastern Panhandle."

This program is similar to another in Mower County, Minnesota, where children without dental insurance or from lower income families will receive free oral health services. ADNFCR-1507-ID-19222103-ADNFCR

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