Maui News

Molokaʻi Community Health Center receives $150,000 grant for dental services

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Molokaʻi Community Health Center staff: (Back row, L-R) Helen Kekalia, CEO; Shanna Willing, CFOO; Terry Radi, project manager; Dr. Adam Long, DMD; Heaven Tancayo, hygienist; and Keani Kawano, dental operations manager. (Front row, L-R) dental assistants Lahilahi Manaba, Lau Albino and Amri Nahale.

The Hawaiʻi Dental Service Foundation donated $149,988 to Molokaʻi Community Health Center for the expansion of its dental services to improve the oral health of families.

The grant will pay for an intraoral scanner, computed tomography x-ray and motorized dental hand pieces. This state-of-the-art equipment will provide advanced dental care access to underserved residents on Molokaʻi, while also addressing the overwhelming increase in demand for oral hygiene and dentistry services islandwide.

“With consistent year-to-year growth of new patients, plans are underway to double the size of our current dental clinic and practice that will allow us to provide for the growing needs of residents regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay,” said Helen Kekalia, CEO of Molokaʻi Community Health Center. “This gift will be used as a strategic investment in our dental expansion focus.”


Oral health in Hawaiʻi has become a critical public health issue, particularly among Native Hawaiians and residents in rural and neighbor island communities, according to a MCHC announcement. “Research shows that untreated dental problems can often lead to major illnesses and even death. Access is key for Molokaʻi families to receive proper dental care and oral hygiene to contribute to good health and overall wellbeing,” MCHC said.

Molokaʻi Community Health Center is a community-based health organization integrating primary medical and dental care with behavioral health, wellness, health education and prevention including the supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children. MCHC has been recognized for its quality of care as a recipient of the HRSA’s Quality Award from the Department of Health and Human Services for four successive years.


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