Apple Tree Dental To Open New Dental Center In Fergus Falls
Leighton Interactive | Nov 12, 2019 AT 5:45 am
Fergus Falls and Otter Tail County is about to get a huge new dental facility providing dental care for low-income families and people with special needs in West Central Minnesota.
In a release from the company, Apple Tree Dental has announced the construction of a new Fergus Falls Center for Dental Health on Western Avenue. The company says construction on the $4.1 million facility has already begun, with targeted completion during the Summer of 2020.
They point out that the center received a lot of local support, including more than $1.8 million in combined grant funding from the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, the Frank W. Veden Charitable Trust, and the Otto Bremer Trust. The city of Fergus Falls and Bremer Bank are providing long-term financing.
Apple Tree’s CEO and co-founder, Dr. Michael J. Helgeson, said strong community support has paved the way for the project. “Collaborative efforts have been the key to creating partnerships and attracting the funding needed to make the new Center for Dental Health possible. With extraordinary contributions from our funding partners, and help from so many community leaders, we’re poised to help thousands of area residents get critically needed health care.”
Apple Tree’s current Fergus Falls clinic lacks the capacity to meet the needs in the region. Last year, it provided more than 9,000 dental visits and screenings to more than 3,400 patients. Even so, more than 1,000 people remain on its waiting list. The new 11,000-square-foot facility will feature state-of the-art equipment and facilities designed to accommodate people with special needs. It will also host training opportunities for dentists, dental therapists, hygienists, and assistants.
They say that the new Center for Dental Health is a culmination of three years of planning between Apple Tree, key community partners in Fergus Falls, and local officials and stakeholders. “I am so pleased for this project. The need to expand access to dental care for lower-income people is huge,” said former Otter Tail County Public Health Director and Apple Tree Dental Board Member Diane Thorson, said “Partnering with dental education programs will help rural communities recruit providers.”
The Otto Bremer Trust, a long-time supporter of Apple Tree, also provided a generous grant of $500,000. The Otto Bremer Trust awards grants to organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin for major projects. “We’re excited to support this unique partnership between Apple Tree and several key community partners,” said Daniel C. Reardon, co-CEO and Otto Bremer Trust trustee. “This is a great example of organizations working together to create a longterm asset for the benefit of the community.”
Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota provided a generous grant of $650,000. The foundation strategically invests in programs that build an oral health workforce and provide educational resources and programs to help children and parents prevent common dental issues. They regularly provide funding to support and establish clinics that serve Minnesotans who may not otherwise be able to access care. “Delta Dental is pleased to see the center come to life,” said Joseph P. Lally, executive director of the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation. “The need is there, and the center is a big step toward meeting the needs in the Fergus Falls area. The foundation’s support aligns with our mission to bring oral health care to all Minnesotans statewide.”
Local dentists, the City of Fergus Falls, Otter Tail County, and other organizations such as the West Central Initiative Fund, Patterson Dental, Primus Dental, and A-dec have also shown strong support.
An official Groundbreaking event will be held at 12:30 this Friday, November 15th at the AmericInn by Wyndham on Western Avenue.