Six Kentucky health centers awarded more than $1.7 million in first-of-their-kind grants to be used for oral health infrastructure

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Six health centers in Kentucky have received more than $1.7 million in competitive federal grants to be used toward improving oral health.

The Health Resources and Services Administration awarded over $85 million to 298 health centers as part of its Oral Health Infrastructure program.

The six in Kentucky and their headquarters towns are: Cumberland Family Medical Center in Burkesville, Big Sandy Health Care in Prestonsburg, Healthfirst Bluegrass in Lexington, Healthpoint Family Care in Covington, Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center in Louisville and Pennyroyal Healthcare Service in Princeton. All got $300,000 except Pennyroyal, which got $226,345.

news release from Department of Health and Human Services the says the money can be used for things like “minor alteration and renovation to modernize existing facilities, purchase and installation of dental and radiology equipment, training and consultation to increase oral health integration, and purchase of mobile dental units to increase access to oral health care.”

“These are the first awards HRSA has ever made solely for health centers’ oral health-care infrastructure, and they will support better access to oral health services in communities across the country, including under-served urban and rural areas,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in the release.

Cumberland Family Medical Center plans to use its grant money to purchase portable equipment for its school-based health centers, which provide preventive oral health care to its students, according to a separate news release from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The release notes that McConnell contacted HRSA on behalf of the center, which has more than 25 locations.

“We applaud Senator McConnell’s efforts to ensure that we and other community health centers can continue to provide high quality care to patients who need it the most,” Tracey Roy Antle, the center’s chief operating officer, said in the release.