Nation's first fixed dental clinic at VA opens
The Minneapolis Veterans Home, along with state government, made history Thursday, Aug. 23, by opening the nation's first fixed dental clinic on a state veterans home campus. Previously, the home relied on mobile clinics to provide dental care to veterans as do others across the state.
Challenges with the mobile clinics included a limited ability to provide dental procedures, increased cost and time for setup and teardown, lack of adequate space to receive patients, inconsistent durability of equipment, and poor conditions for infection control.
In addition to the 300 residents at the Minneapolis Veterans Home, the new dental clinic is expected to serve up to 100 veterans at the nearby Hastings State Veterans Home.
The Minnesota Department of Veteran Affairs is considering similar projects for the veterans homes in Silver Bay, Fergus Falls and Luverne.
The Minneapolis project was a public-private project with three major private grants from Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, Minnesota Veterans 4 Veterans Trust Fund and the Disabled American Veterans Minnesota Foundation.
A small portion of veterans are eligible for dental benefits through the VA Health Care System due to strict eligibility criteria, so this will expand options for all veterans at the homes.