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CHAS Health opens Spokane Valley dental clinic

UPDATED: Wed., Aug. 22, 2018

CHAS Health non-profit dental clinic is photographed in Spokane Valley on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
CHAS Health non-profit dental clinic is photographed in Spokane Valley on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

CHAS Health is expanding availability of its medical services with the addition of a new dental clinic in Spokane Valley.

The East Mission Dental Clinic is an extension of the existing CHAS Health urgent-care facility at 1502 N. Vercler Road, which opened three years ago.

It’s the organization’s seventh dental clinic in the Inland Northwest and first in Spokane Valley. It was built because of increased demand for dental services, CHAS Health CEO Aaron Wilson said.

“Prior to this clinic opening, we did not have any dental clinics in Spokane Valley,” he said. “Patients were getting services from other locations in Spokane.”

Construction on the 6,400-square-foot space began more than five months ago. It includes 10 dental chairs, a waiting room, reception area, staff space and a lab sterilization area.

CHAS Health anticipates serving 3,600 individual patients in the first year of operations at the East Mission Dental Clinic.

The facility, which opened July 31, offers exams, cleanings, X-rays, root canals, crowns, fillings and restorative procedures.

“We’ve had over 500 visits since we opened and have over 500 scheduled appointments going into September as well,” Wilson said.

Spokane Valley Councilman Arne Woodard said the East Mission Dental Clinic is a step in the right direction.

“CHAS being in the Valley and expanding their services to our needy and our citizens is just huge,” he said at a grand opening ceremony on Thursday. “We, in the Valley, have tried to help in the ways we can with encouraging bus stops and crossings for your clinics as you build them. This is really great.”

The facility was funded with more than $1 million in federal grants from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and $580,000 in grant money from the Washington state capital budget.

Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said 4th District legislators are pleased that CHAS Health was awarded state funding for the clinic.

“It has been said there is a real need (for dental services) here,” he said at the grand opening ceremony. “You are right in the center of Spokane Valley and I think your location is outstanding being right next to MultiCare Valley Hospital. I know there’s going to be some synergy there that will be beneficial.”

CHAS Health, a nonprofit health center, provides medical, dental, pharmacy and behavioral health services to patients of all ages.

“The main thing is our services are available for everybody – folks on Medicaid and folks with private insurance,” Wilson said. “The clinic is open for all.”

CHAS Health served more than 73,000 patients in the Inland Northwest in 2017, including more than 20,000 dental patients.

The organization experienced a 15 percent growth rate last year and expanded programs and services to support that growth.

Last year, the organization opened the CHAS Health Nurse Practitioner Clinic at its Spokane Valley facility at 15812 E. Indiana Avenue – the first of its kind in Eastern Washington. The 13-month program allows nurse practitioners to perfect their knowledge, skills and abilities in primary care.

CHAS Health plans include a dental clinic at the East Central Community Center in Spokane as well as adding more dental chairs at the Lewis and Clark Dental Clinic in Clarkston, and establishing a dental residency program in partnership with Providence Health and Services.

The article was changed to correct the amount of federal grant funding from $12 million to $1 million for the CHAS Heath dental clinic.

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