(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
NEEDED SERVICE: Old modular building served 3,000 people per year…
Since 1978, NEW Health has been providing health care services to the people of Stevens, Ferry, and Pend Oreille Counties. In 2006, NEW Health began to provide much needed dental services to the residents of Springdale in a 1,400 square foot modular building. While the community was grateful to have access to dental care close by, the nature of the modular created barriers to care.
Space was a limiting factor in the building, as reception was in just 400 square feet and dental work spaces were just even smaller. Despite the small area to perform dental care, since 2015, NEW Health’s dental clinic in Springdale has provided over 3,000 dental visits per year. Even with the limited space, the NEW Health and the staff of the Springdale Dental Clinic provided much needed dental care to the people of Stevens County.
These issues and more were remedied as last Friday, NEW Health and the Springdale Dental Clinic celebrated a ribbon cutting ceremony and opened a brand new facility, full of modern amenities and room to expand its services to Springdale. State Senator Shelly Short, State Representative Jacquelin Maycumber, Stevens County Commissioner Wes McCart and Chewelah Mayor Dorothy Knauss were among the community leaders present to celebrate the grand opening. NEW Health Chief Executive Officer, Desiree Sweeney, thanked local senators and representatives for the capital appropriation from the 2017-2019 Washington State Capital budget that helped to fund the new Springdale Dental Clinic.
“We talked to Senator Short and Legislator Maycumber on what we do to get better dental care to more patients and reduce barriers,” Sweeney said. Patients with mobility concerns will be able to access the building thanks to covered sidewalks and paved parking. This is a change from the steep incline the old building had.
The new dental building also has more dental operatories, including space for dental student rotations from the University of Washington RIDE program. NEW Health will offer routine dental cleanings, gum disease treatments, root canals, crowns, fillings, oral surgery and teeth whitening at the new clinic. “They have so much room here, they don’t know what to do with it,” Sweeney said.
Springdale Mayor Liz Calderwood marveled at the more soundproof walls in the building, making a good-natured joke about her kids talking back to the dentist. “It’s been great to see people drive through town and see this place grow and grow,” Calderwood said. “It meant a lot.”
As a Mary Walker graduate, Sweeney said this project was exciting to her as it helped her home community. NEW Health used all District 7 contractors, including contractors from Springdale, the Tri-County area and North Spokane. “The drywallers went to high school at Mary Walker,” Sweeney said. “It really is a community effort. This project was very personal to me. I wanted to invest in the community that invested so much in me.”
For more information about NEW Health, go to newhp.org