Community Health Center steps in to provide dental care in Eagle Grove

It moved fast to meet a need

Residents of Eagle Grove recently got some bad news which was quickly supplanted by some good news on the very same topic.

The bad news: Dr. Mysty Shaver announced that she would be closing Eagle Grove Family Dentistry. Ordinarily, that would be a tough blow because it is hard to recruit a dentist, especially in a small city like Eagle Grove.

However, it did not turn out to be a tough blow after all. On the very day that Shaver closed her office, the Community Health Center of Fort Dodge signed a contract to purchase it.

For at least a little bit of time, it looked like the dental office would be closed for good. Instead, it will be closed for just a couple of months while the staff of the Community Health Center gets organized and ready to greet the first patients there.

When it reopens, it will be known as the Community Health Center of Eagle Grove. It will be staffed by a full-time dentist, a full-time hygienist, two dental assistants, a full-time nurse practitioner, a clinical support staff member and a front desk registration worker. It will offer both dental and primary medical care.

It will also offer a sliding fee scale for payment that is based upon the patient’s ability to pay. Private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid will also be accepted for payment.

Offering that sliding fee scale is a characteristic of a federally qualified health center, which the Community Health Center of Fort Dodge is. And while the center is considered federally qualified, it isn’t incapacitated by layers of red tape and bureaucracy like so many other entities that are in some way connected to the federal government.

The Eagle Grove situation is an example of that. The center’s leadership saw a need and moved fast to meet that need.

The purchase of the dental office is another example of the dedication and level of caring exhibited by every member of the Community Health Center of Fort Dodge team. We are lucky to have them here.


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