A press conference will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, to announce a collaborative grant that will allow the dental hygiene clinic at Missouri Southern to provide dental care to adults who are underserved

The event, to be held in Room 167 of the Health Sciences Building, will serve as an introduction to the Southwest Missouri Collaborative for Dental Care for the Underserved.

Grant funding for the collaborative effort between Missouri Southern, the Community Clinic of Joplin, ACCESS Family Care and ACHE Dental will be provided by the Missouri Foundation for Health. The partner agencies will work together to provide low-cost, basic dental care.

“The foundation has put an emphasis on adult oral health,” said Dr. Tia Strait, dean of the School of Health Sciences. “Children can be seen through Medicaid, but adults can fall through the cracks.”

Through the program, eligible community members will be seen by Missouri Southern dental students on Tuesdays and Thursdays, said Strait.

Eligible patients must be age 19 or older and at or below 150 percent of the 2013 Federal Poverty Guidelines, not have insurance or receive Medicaid or Medicare. They must also reside in Barry, Barton, Cedar, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, McDonald or Newton counties. Those approved will be eligible for up to $280 of dental services per year. Clinic visits will cost $20.

“The clinic will offer basic preventative care,” said Strait. “Patients with other needs will be referred to ACCESS, ACHE Dental and the Community Clinic.”

The W. Robert Corley Dental Hygiene Clinic is located in the Health Sciences Building. The clinic not only provides the initial learning environment for dental hygiene care, but real-world experiences by providing preventative oral health care services to patients. Students are supervised by dental hygiene and dental faculty at all times. The clinic offers cleanings, X-rays and other preventative services.

Applications for the program can be found at www.joplinclinic.org or by calling 417-624-5500, ext. 24.