WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Dental Clinic in Works for McDonough County

Nov 18, 2014

It’s been about 18 months since the EagleView dental clinic in Macomb closed. Since then, Medicaid recipients have been without a dental provider in McDonough County.

The McDonough County Health Department wants to address the community’s need by establishing its own dental clinic.

The McDonough County Health Department (right) purchased the abandoned church (left) to be torn down and become the future home of a dental clinic.
Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer

“We have been working for the last year and a half to come up with a dental clinic primarily, and possibly a medical clinic down the road if need be,” said Lynnette Cale, McDonough County Health Department director.

“We get calls on almost a daily basis from people who are looking for a Medicaid provider and we have to explain that we don’t have one.”

Cale said the scale of the clinic would depend largely on the amount of money the department is able to raise for the project.

“Whether it’s starting off really small and just having one office space and we just see kids and then as we get more funds and a little more established we expand or obviously if we had enough funding we will open it up right off the bat to everyone,” Cale said.

She said it could cost more than $500,000 to open the clinic, adding that there aren’t a lot of infrastructure grants available for these projects.

“Once it’s established Medicaid and fee for services and stuff would help maintain it, but that initial building part is where we are at right now,” Cale said.

In the meantime, Cale said the health department will continue to work to serve Medicaid recipients.

“We’ve contracted with a company out of Peoria that comes to the schools and does the dental exams for the kids and they will be coming back this year to do the fillings and stuff like that that the kids need,” Cale said.

“So that helps us meet the Medicaid needs initially for the kids that are in school.”

The health department has already purchased the abandoned church next door to its Macomb location with plans of tearing it down in the near future. It will be the future site of the dental clinic.