The Bridge Community Health Clinic in Wausau will break ground Friday on a multimillion dollar expansion project.
In May, Bridge Clinic received a $3.388 million capital grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Health Resources and Services Administration to support the construction of an expanded dental unit at their flagship site in Wausau. The funding was made available through the much-debated Affordable Care Act, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Action of 2010.
The expanded dental spaces will be added onto the existing building on undeveloped land to the north of Bridge Clinic. The new construction will allow Bridge Clinic to nearly triple its capacity in dental services and will add 20 additional dental operatories. Bridge Clinic has plans to hire five additional full time dentists, and five additional full time dental hygienists to utilize the new areas and provide greater access to dental services for the under-served in our area.
“We have been struggling to meet the existing need for additional dental services at our current facility,” said Bridge Clinic Executive Director Laura Scudiere. “This allows us to add dental providers on staff so that we can treat existing dental issues as well as focus on prevention.”
This increased capacity will allow Bridge Clinic to accommodate an additional 5,840 patients and 18,300 visits annually, reducing the area’s gap in access to necessary dental care. Bridge Clinic’s dental unit served just over 3340 patients in 2011. Of the dental patients that Bridge Clinic serves 8% are uninsured and 88% are insured through Medicaid.
The proposed completion date is in the spring of 2014.