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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 10, 2005

Muscatine Pediatric Dentistry Clinic Ribbon-Cutting Set For Feb. 15

University of Iowa College of Dentistry faculty and students will be on hand for a Feb. 15 ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house at a new Muscatine dentistry clinic for children.

The Muscatine Pediatric Dentistry clinic opened Jan. 4 on the lower level of the Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA) building at 312 Iowa Ave. Staffed by College of Dentistry faculty members and senior UI dentistry students, the clinic is open on Tuesdays and treats Muscatine and Louisa county children up to age 12.

The clinic is a collaborative effort of MCSA, the College of Dentistry and the Muscatine Health Support Foundation. MCSA provided free space and utilities for the clinic, while the foundation paid for renovation costs. The College of Dentistry provides the dental equipment and staff.

The new clinic creates a win-win situation for both the community and the University, said Michael Kanellis, D.D.S., UI professor and head of pediatric dentistry. Children from low-income families who do not have dental insurance or cannot afford basic dental services will get the care they need, and UI dentistry students will gain experience treating pediatric patients, he noted.

"It is a valuable experience for our students to provide dental care to kids in a community setting," Kanellis said. "The support from the Muscatine community has been outstanding, and the feedback from our students who have participated so far has been extremely positive."

Dental treatment provided at the clinic is billed at Medicaid fees, which are significantly lower than private practice fees. The clinic accepts Medicaid, Title XIX, Hawk-I and traditional dental insurance and also will work with families to arrange personal payment plans.

The Feb. 15 ribbon cutting will begin at noon. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sister Irma Ries, executive director of MCSA, at 563-264-3278.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, (319) 335-8032, david-pedersen@uiowa.edu.