Ellen Jones Community Dental Center Relocating to South Dennis

Cape Cod Healthcare CEO Michael Lauf (second from right) presents CCHC’s $100K match commitment to Harbor Health’s CEO Chuck Jones (right) and members of the dental care team at Ellen Jones Community Dental Center, Dr. Joao Costa, lead dentist; Erin Mullaney, administrative director of dental services; and Aline Martins, dental assistant. Photo courtesy of Harbor Health.

HARWICH – Harbor Health’s Ellen Jones Community Dental Center will have a new home this spring.

The center, which serves 3,300 lower-income patients, is currently located at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich.

Due to funding mechanisms for the Cape Tech’s new building opening next year, the private dental center was not able to continue operations onsite.

The dental facility will move to Patriot Square in South Dennis.

“We are very excited that we have found a new location for the dental center,” said Ami Bowen, the director of communications for Harbor Health.

Bowen said the new location is close enough to the tech school to continue its two-decade-long partnership.

“We wanted to stay close to Cape Cod Technical High School so we could continue that collaboration with the school and the dental assisting students allowing them to have that really practical experience and engage them with public health,” Bowen said.

Students participating in the school’s dental assisting program are able to work with live patients in the clinic and practice the skills they are learning in the classroom.

Bowen said Harbor Health also looked for a location that would provide easier access for patients.

“That’s one of the great things about Patriots Square, it is right off the highway. It’s very accessible by the public transportation options,” she said.

Many of the center’s current patients reside in Harwich, Dennis, and other areas of the Mid and Lower Cape.

“We have been there for a very long time and we really feel very much part of that community so we wanted to stay there,” Bowen said.

The move to Patriots Square will also allow for the center to expand.

“We are one of the only dental practices on the Lower Cape that takes MassHealth for adults and the demand for our services is growing,” Bowen said.

The expansion will include increasing the number of rooms available for dental procedures from six to eight and the hiring of another full-time dentist.

“We thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to expand our services, be able to add a full-time dentist, add more availability for appointments and grow the number of visits for our patients,” Bowen said.

Bowen said there is growing demand for services in the area.

“More people are becoming aware of how important oral care is to their overall health, to their physical wellbeing, their emotional wellbeing, and their ability to get a job,” she said.

“They are looking for help with their dental healthcare and there’s just not that many affordable options.”

The center always accepts emergency walk-ins, and Bowen said the schedule is opened on Mondays for the next five weeks to try to work in new patients as quickly as possible.

“This just means we’ll be able to facilitate doing that a lot more easily for even more patients who are in need of affordable dental care,” Bowen said.

Harbor Health has begun an effort to raise $300,000 to cover the costs of the relocation and expansion of the center to South Dennis.

Early in November, Cape Cod Healthcare pledged to match donations to relocation fundraising effort up to $100,000.

To make an online donation to the Ellen Jones Relocation and Expansion Fund, visit www.hhsi.us/donateellenjones/.

Individuals may also contact Susan Lit, chief strategy and performance officer, by emailing sblit@hhsi.us to discuss more about contributing to the fund.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the CapeCod.com NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.

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