United Way
Indiana 211

DDS moves to Project Access


November 14, 2011
Dentist Delivering Smiles Moves to Project Access


Kokomo, IN, November 14, 2011/Press Release/ -- United Way funded agency Project Access will adopt Dentist Delivering Smiles (DDS). When DDS was formed ten years ago, Project Access, created in 2004, had not been organized.

DDS began ten years ago as a United Way Community Partnership. United Way 2-1-1 screened potential clients then referred them to participating local dentists for care. DDS community partners are Advantage Health Solutions, Center Township Trustee Office, Clinic of Hope, Dental Care, LLC., Howard County Dentist, Indiana Health Center, Kokomo Rescue Mission, St.Joseph Hospital and Health Center and United Way of Howard County.

"DDS has been going strong for ten years and this move will insure that it continues for ten more. Before DDS there were similar programs that, at the most, lasted only 18 months. I want to thank all the groups that have assisted in DDS' growth, especially local dentists and dental labs. The success of DDS has in part been due to this great collaboration," said Lori Tate United Way President.

The DDS program serves people of Howard County, who do not have insurance, do not have a dentist, who can show financial need, and who have pain, fever or swelling. A typical patient is 25-35 years old seeking a full mouth extraction. Patients pay a minimal co-pay for program services and prescriptions. If dentures are required, patients pay a sliding fee through an individual account set up for them.

Project Access' goals are to improve the health of uninsured residents by providing primary and specialty care to residents who otherwise would go without medical care. By offering a primary care "home" to those who do not already have a provider, Emergency Department visits and overall healthcare costs can be significantly reduced.

"Moving DDS to Project Access is a perfect fit. Oral care is very important to the health of the body and our goal is to provide access to health care services to the uninsured of Howard County. DDS and Project Access, who serve many of the same people, will have everything under one roof," said Carrie Giannakos, Director of Project Access.

The benefits of this transition are numerous. DDS will have a street address and phone number, a part time case manager and an executive director who will oversee and increase marketing, assist DDS clients and recruit more dental professionals. 

For more information on DDS or Project Access as a client or to volunteer as a Dental Professional, please call 854-0544.