Alluvion Health’s Mobile Dental Clinic
November 29, 2020 | 0
“Creating and Inspiring Healthier Lives.”
That’s the stated mission of Alluvion Health, a not for profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that provides comprehensive primary and preventive medical, dental and behavioral health care to the residents of Great Falls, Montana and the surrounding communities.
FQHC’s are federally-funded health centers that are designed to provide primary care to underserved areas. According to the federal government, “underserved” can be communities with higher than average concentrations of the uninsured, agricultural or migrant workers, homeless, people in poverty, or rural residents.
As a state, Montana is one of the least populated in the U.S., trailing only Alaska and Wyoming for the least densely populated state. Great Falls, where Alluvion is based, is the third largest city in Montana, with just under 55,000 residents.
Like many small cities, for years Great Falls relied on agricultural and manufacturing output for its economy. As the demand for workers in those industries declined, so did the local economy. From 2010-2016, Great Falls saw a 10.7% increase in concentrated poverty, more than any other city in the state.
It’s no secret that an increase in poverty is often followed by declining health outcomes. That’s one reason why Alluvion Health states that one of the ways that they’ll meet their mission of “creating and inspiring healthier lives” is to listen to and truly understand the needs of the community.
“Our mission “Creating and Inspiring Healthier Lives” is a promise we have made to our staff, the community, and our partners,” Alluvion writes on its website. “Part of this promise is assessing needs in the community… [through a] Community Health Needs Assessment.”
By asking residents of the community what they think is missing, as well by as analyzing public health data, Alluvion aims to uncover any gaps in primary care services, and then fill those gaps. It’s through this community health needs assessment process that Alluvion Health first uncovered the need for mobile dental services.
“After doing a community needs assessment we determined that a mobile dental unit would best serve our community in Great Falls and Cascade County,” said Dr. Kimberly Currie, The Alluvion Health Dental Director, in an interview with local station KRTV.
The Alluvion mobile dental clinic is a 38ft La Boit-built clinic that features two private dental suites, a reception area, an ADA-compliant handicap lift, and an on-board bathroom. The mobile clinic was funded for the most part by a grant from from the federal Health Resource Service Administration.
“Only two or three other health centers in the state receive this kind of funding so we are definitely lucky to have gotten it,” Dr. Currie explained in that same interview.
Alluvion Health believes that oral health is a core primary health offering and can have a significant impact on overall health. The mobile unit will help to expand and increase access to those critical dental services.
“…someone may not be able to leave work for a half a day that it would take to get to an appointment,” said Erin Merchant, Alluvion’s Marketing Director, in an interview with local station KHQ after taking delivery of the La Boit truck. “So us being able to bring our mobile unit to our patients in rural areas will decrease that barrier and allow people to get the dental service that they need.”
Primary care services are the first line of defense against larger health problems. By providing these critical primary care services, FQHC’s such as Alluvion can help prevent more catastrophic health diagnoses for residents in the future.
La Boit is honored to collaborate with Alluvion to champion them in their mission to provide accessible healthcare and inspire healthier lives for more and more people throughout their community.
About La Boit Specialty Vehicles
La Boit Specialty Vehicles president Gil Blais first started La Boit in his garage in 1981, where he hand-made organizational boxes for traveling veterinarians. Fast forward to today, La Boit Specialty Vehicles is now a leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing for the Veterinary, Spay/Neuter/Adoption, Dental, Medical, Command, and Bloodmobile industries.
La Boit Specialty Vehicles offers a variety of vehicles to suit your needs, from 18ft pull-behind trailers to 40ft drivable coaches, none of which require a CDL to drive. Best of all, our vehicles are commercially-built from the chassis up for your specific needs, and are never converted RVs.
Helping professionals around the world confidently deliver a higher level of service to their local markets by providing the highest quality custom mobile units in the industry!
We welcome your feedback and questions. Please contact us anytime or leave a comment below.