RHG opens dental clinic

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2007

JACKSON – The newest dental clinic in Northampton County has been a labor of love for the Rural Health Group, Inc (RHG).

The small brick structure that sits next to the RHG medical building on Highway 305 North just outside of Jackson is the latest addition to the non-profit community health center that serves Northampton and Halifax County.

“We had plum color walls in here,” said CEO Brian Harris of RHG at the new clinic’s ribbon cutting on Monday. “This facility has been a labor of love for the Rural Health Group.”

From its once plum colored walls, has risen a state-of-the-art facility that dental patients from all walks of life can benefit from.

“We take care of everybody, the rich and the poor,” said Harris.

The new clinic will take most insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid. Sliding fee discounts are also available for those without dental coverage and is based on family size and income.

Northampton County Department of Social Services Director Al Wentzy said he was delighted with the opening of the clinic. He also pointed out that not many dental clinics take Medicaid and Medicare because of the low reimbursements.

“It’s one of the shortcomings in taking care of needy citizens,” he said.

Before the clinic’s opening, Northampton County citizens seeking dental care would either have to travel to Rich Square or surrounding counties.

The office will also be environmentally friendly by being “paperless.” Harris said all of the patient files and x-rays will be kept digitally. He explained when patients checked in they would have to provide some paperwork to the receptionist to scan, but that was all of the paper that would be used by the facility.

Currently the staff includes two part-time dentists with a full-time dentist expected in August. Harris said they hope to add another full-time dentist within six months.

Harris said the clinic will employ 10 people.

Many local, county and state officials came out to see the facility’s grand opening.

RHG Board Chairman and Mayor of Seaboard Melvin F. Broadnax said it was a grand day for Northampton County, not only for the services provided by the dental clinic, but also for the employment opportunities.

“This facility will add a lot to the county and make the community a better place to live and work,” he said.

Legislative Correspondent Christie Weaver from the office of Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-1st) said Butterfield was pleased to see the dental clinic open.

State Representative Michael Wray (D-27th) gave credit to the RHG for their endeavor.

“Access to quality and affordable dental care services is critically important for children and adults in Northampton County,” said Wray. “I applaud the Rural Health Group’s continued efforts and actions that are making a difference daily in the lives of so many people.”

Northampton County Commissioner Chairwoman Virginia Spruill (D-2nd) also gave credit to RHG.

“On behalf of the Northampton County Commissioners and citizens we are so delighted,” said Spruill to Harris during a luncheon reception after the ribbon cutting. “We know it took a lot of initiative and foresight.”

Harris said a $75,000 grant made the dental clinic possible.

Those interested in making an appointment at the new clinic can call (252)-536-5920.