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Cornelius News

Ada Jenkins bringing back mobile dental unit, with partners

April 14. The Ada Jenkins Center, Lake Norman Community Health Clinic and the Matthews Free Medical Clinic are joining forces to bring back the AJC Mobile Dental Unit, which was forced to park due to COVID.

The Mobile Unit served more than 150 dental patients during the 2019-2020 program year, but ceased operations during the pandemic.

Harold Rice

With input from Ada Jenkins Center’s lead volunteer dentists, the Mobile Unit is undergoing air filtration and circulation upgrades that will allow for safe use once again.

LNCHC Executive Director April Cook said her agency’s lack of access to dental care has been a huge gap in providing overall health and wellness to the uninsured. “Our hope is that this program will be expanded in the near future to other free and charitable partners within our region,” she said.

Starting late summer, the agencies hope to serve 500 dental patients.

COVID crisis

Harold E. Rice Jr., CEO of Ada Jenkins, compared COVID to a storm that nonprofit agencies have learned to weather together.

“The COVID-19 economy—resulting in decreased contributions from some major funders—has forced the Ada Jenkins Center, like many nonprofit organizations, to seek intra-agency partnerships and economies of scale in order to stretch community resources.”

Most recently, the Ada Jenkins Center Free Medical Clinic transitioned its medical patients into the care of the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic. The Ada Jenkins Center is reinforcing its economic mobility services for families in northern Mecklenburg County through case management; education/ employment, financial, and housing coaching; and its after-school academic enrichment program.

Applications are now being accepted for the position of Dental Clinic Director to oversee the new clinic operations, including scheduling volunteer dental professionals, scheduling patients, and ensuring clinic regulation compliance.