CCHI St. Joseph’s Health has been awarded grants totaling $1,282,640 to help build a new Community Dental Clinic in Park Rapids.

The awards include $425,000 from the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, $347,393 from the Otto Bremer Trust, $260,247 from the Minnesota Department of Health and $250,000 from PrimeWest Health.

“We … believe that everyone deserves a healthy smile, and we are passionate about improving access to oral health care to people who need it the most,” said Joe Lally, executive director of the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. “St. Joseph’s plays a critical role in helping people in Park Rapids and surrounding communities, and we are thrilled to support its expansion and growth.”

“Supporting medical services to low-income, special needs, and underserved communities has been a priority of the Otto Bremer Trust,” said Daniel Reardon, co-CEO and trustee of Otto Bremer Trust. “St. Joseph’s is responding to a need by constructing a new dental clinic in the greater Park Rapids area, and we are pleased to help support its completion.”

The new facility will be located at 206 Pleasant Ave. S., across the street from the current dental clinic, in a building previously occupied by the Park Rapids Eye Clinic. It is scheduled to open in the spring of 2020.

With room to provide dental care to more patients, the new clinic is projected to serve more than 3,000 people per year.

“St. Joseph’s has always seen oral health as a critical component of overall health for patients, and it aligns with our mission to improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Ben Koppelman, president of CHI St. Joseph’s Health.

According to the release, the sole purpose of the Community Dental Clinic is to give patients in public care dental programs, low-income families and other at-risk groups access to dental care. It has no geographic boundaries and has served patients from 58 counties and 217 communities since 2004.

“We are grateful to our many funding partners who are helping us continue to expand dental services to those who otherwise may not have access to care,” said Koppelman. “Without their support, this new clinic would not be possible.”

The CHI St. Joseph’s Health Foundation will continue to fundraise for the project through its annual gala, private donations and other grants, the release said.