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Monday, February 6, 2023
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Health Beat: Talia Moses

Dentist Talia Moses witih a patient.Virgin Islanders who are underinsured or have no insurance don’t have to worry about getting oral health care since the opening in February of the dental department at Frederiksted Health Care Inc. (FHC). To meet this end, FHC now offers a sliding fee program for patients.

Jason Henry, spokesman for FHC, said the department has recently seen a large influx of patients seeking services at the Health Center, and the staff anticipate seeing more with all the government employee dismissals recently.

The demand for the services is obvious as residents have already filled the department’s appointment book into April.

Talia Moses, the department’s dentist, and technicians have served around 100 patients since the dental services began Feb. 27 at the Ingeborg Nesbitt Clinic on Strand Street.

“We definitely anticipate an increase in patients,” Henry added “We will try to accommodate everyone who comes to us for service. And we will give them the best service possible.” He said oral health care is important because it affects general health. Henry said the addition of the dental department/services is a part of the primary care offered at the FHC.

In an attempt to handle this recent influx of patients at the department, and to avoid patients having to wait for a long period of time, Henry requests that individuals call and schedule an appointment to ensure that everyone is seen in a timely manner. FHC will only accept walk-in patients in dire pain.

Moses and a couple of dental technicians work at two dental chairs doing exams, cleaning, fillings, and extractions.

“My goal is to make sure people are aware of the importance of tooth care,” Moses said. “I want people to know about care of their babies’ teeth beginning before the baby is one.” Moses hopes she will be able to expand and add other dental services such as providing dentures.

For the kick off of National Children’s Health Month and to celebrate the opening of the department/services, Moses went to local schools in the “Rock Your Smile” promotion. She told the students about healthy dental habits and she examined students’ teeth.

The Health Center reopened in December after three years of mold remediation and refurbishing. The dental department/services had moved to the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged during the refurbishing. Previously, the department had dentist Sonia Griffith providing intervention only to children with severe problems.

FHC will be raffling one free exam and cleaning every week to uninsured clients for the first month of operation to celebrate the opening. FHC will enter the names of all uninsured clients in the raffle seeking primary medical care at the health center. A name will be drawn for the raffle each Friday.

Marcia Crispin said she and her two children were at the dental department for exams and cleaning.

“I’m very happy to see the addition of dental services at the center,” Crispin said. “We were all due for a checkup.”

FHC is a nonprofit federally qualified community health center. FHC’s focus is to provide primary health care to the insured, underinsured or uninsured on St. Croix. For the uninsured the payment is based on the income and size of the family. Some insured people may qualify for a lower co-payment.

Call 772-0260 to make an appointment for dental services.

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