Organization Name: KVDC d/b/a Waterville Community Dental Center

Program Name: Sliding Fee Program

Program Contact: Jessica Pelotte, Director
Email:     Phone: (207) 861-5801

UWMM has funded this program for 14 years.

Amount Requested: $20000
Is this an increase from what your program received for the current funding cycle? 

Twenty-five word summary of this program’s purpose:

To provide area residents a dental home with affordable, reduced rates for dental care procedures and financial relief for obtaining life-long preventive oral health care.

How your program is uniquely important to the community:

Good oral health is critical to overall good health and wellbeing.  Lack of access to oral health care can lead to profound pain, suffering, loss of self-esteem, employment challenges, lost school and work days, and significant overall health problems.

For example, dental disease left untreated can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, emergency surgery and even death in both children and adults. Poor oral health is associated with chronic medical problems including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pregnancy complications. Periodontitis predicts poor outcomes for patients with cardiovascular and kidney disease.

Waterville Community Dental Center is one of the safety net dental providers throughout the state working to improving access to oral health care for all our community, including those who are uninsured, underinsured, or MaineCare recipients. Waterville Community Dental Center is the only safety net center in our immediate area.  We provide services to Somerset and northern Kennebec Counties.

Kennebec Valley Family Dentistry, located in Augusta, is a nonprofit dental center that shares a vision and mission with WCDC and other safety net centers.  It is geographically the closest safety net center to our own and our services overlap slightly but overall we each serve different patient populations. We work together to maximize our ability to serve our communities and are not competitive with each other, nor can one of us fill the coverage needs of the other.

Waterville Community Dental Center is uniquely positioned to provide vital oral health care to the residents of Somerset and Northern Kennebec counties.

Program Updates

Since last report (or in past two years):

As discussed in our organizational report, Waterville Community Dental Center has overcome a major challenge this past year with its move to its new site. We started seeing patients at the new Center on January 7.

The new Center has a total of nine as compared to the seven dental operatories present at the old site.  This will allow WCDC to not only see more patients but to also do more community outreach and serve as a teaching site for University of New England (UNE) College of Dentistry dental students. Student rotations will begin in the Fall of 2019.

Recruitment, particularly dentist recruitment, has been a challenge since WCDC first opened in 2000. The Center is very lucky to have recruited Dr. Jessica Smith, who started as a full-time dentist in July of 2018.  She is a graduate of the UNE College of Dentistry and a life-long resident of central Maine.  She worked ten years as a dental hygienist before going to dental school and has a strong interest in public health dentistry.

Expected in the coming year:

Leveraging the maximal capacity for the new dental center for all our programs, including the sliding fee program, will require an increase in current staffing.  With the new space that is now available, the Center is recruiting for a second full time general dentist.  It is also recruiting for two new dental assistants to support the new dentist and dental students. The new facility and the establishment of dental student teaching should both be a stimulus to dentist recruitment.

Outcome your program most contributes to:
Health: All individuals in Mid-Maine are in safe and healthy environments with access to health supports and services.

How program contributes:
Provides a direct service in behavioral and/or physical health areas, Increases access/reduces barriers to direct services, Increases capacity/resources for direct services, Advocates for behavioral and/or physical health, Collaborates with other programs/services in behavioral and/or physical health

Define your year: July 1 – June 30

How much did we do? 250 (Total number served)

How well did we do it?

Performance measure: Percent of clients who report a positive experience with the program
Most recent year’s data: 96%
Previous year’s data: 92%

What was the difference made?

Performance measure: Percent of clients whose basic needs are met
Most recent year’s data: 100%
Previous year’s data: 100%

Action Plan

Objectives for current year:

  • Sustain the services of the WCDC by efficient management, optimizing use of resources, and doing additional fundraising as needed.
  • Improve our data retrieval for quality measurements.
  • Complete the addition of an externship for teaching dental students from University of New England School of Dentistry, scheduled to begin in the fall of 2019.
  • Recruit a second full time general dentist to supplement the 1.25 FTE dentist services WCDC currently has and increase our service capacity.
  • Explore ways of improving community outreach, including
    • Continuation of discussion with the Alfond Youth Center regarding potential satellite services.
    • Continuation of Head Start on site services and review of other currently available school-based services (K and above) and ways in which we can work cooperatively with current community providers to optimize these services.
    • Begin to look at models in other communities for improvement of area geriatric oral health services.

Objectives and results from last year:Success Stories

JC came to the Waterville Community Dental Center 8 years ago, with her preschool son.  She was in an opioid recovery program on Suboxone and had active dental problems related to both her substance use and years of lack of oral health care.  On her road to recovery, she had just enrolled in KVCC and was also working full time.

With the assistance of the sliding fee program she had restorative work done that relieved her discomfort.  It also improved her overall health, the smile with which she faced the world, and her self-esteem.

Her son, and later her 1-year old daughter received oral health services through MaineCare.

JC has since graduated and works in social services.  She and her family come in regularly for the preventive care they all need to maintain their health and wellbeing.

Previous Year Actual Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
13000 20000 17000 32216 0 82216

Total Actual Expenditures: $82216

Current Year Budgeted Income and Expenditures

Government Funding UWMM Funding Other UWs Funding Fees/Dues Funding Other Sources Funding Total Income
13000 20000 17000 43650 5000 98650

Total Budgeted Expenditures: $98650

Anything remarkable about your program’s budget:

  1. Government Funding: The availability of oral health subsidy funds is not guaranteed year to year, though this level of funding has been stable for the past several years.
  2. United Way of Kennebec Valley also contributes to our sliding fee program. The budget figure is based on funding that we have received in the past but is not yet confirmed.
  3. “Program fees” are the copayments made by sliding fee patients, with the addition of income from other clinical revenue streams if sliding fee copayments are not enough to cover the costs.
  4. “Other income” consists of other grants/donations that are directed to support the sliding fee program. This funding has been raised for this next year.
  5. Figures for the projected budget are increased by 20% in the anticipation that we will be able to increase the number of patients seen in this next year.  This will be contingent on successful recruitment of a second full time dentist.

What else you’d like reviewers to know:

The data collection system for WCDC is complex and the board and staff are aware that we need to improve our mining of data for clinical measures, including the number of recommended treatment plans that are carried to completion and the percentage of patients who are returning on schedule for preventive care.  This work was put on hold this past year because of our relocation needs but is being restarted at this time.  As more refined measures become available, we will be providing them.  For the present reporting we are assuming that every patient seen has some basic oral health need met.


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