Smiles of Relief
accept" it, says child health advocate Kelly Stupple.
The change comes just in time. In late summer, the well-regarded Washtenaw Children's Dental Clinic, located inside Mack School, decided to close. "We're running out of supplies, money, and dentists," explains director Tammy Kraeger, a hygienist and the clinic's only paid employee. The clinic--which charged a bare-bones $25 for a cleaning and X-rays, and saw some kids for free--had struggled since losing half its funding in the Great Recession. The final straw was the retirement of two of its most dedicated volunteer dentists. Stupple, who's affiliated with the county's Success by Six program, says she's confident that, with the promise of adequate reimbursement, she'll be able to find new "dental homes" for all of the clinic's 200 or so young patients.
[Originally published in November, 2013.]