Providing critical dental treatment to the needy in Jackson Macon Swain & Transylvania Counties of Western North Carolina

Overview

Mission

The Blue Ridge Free Dental Clinic delivers high-quality dental care to people who cannot otherwise afford these critically needed services. Motivated by the beliefs and core values of our contributors and founding churches, we restore lives, one tooth at a time.

A Timeline of Progress

Foundation grants, donations from churches, community groups, businesses and individuals, and volunteer time given to the Clinic over the past several years have made the progress outlined below possible. We are grateful for their generosity, which has allowed us to change the lives of so many of our mountain neighbors.

  • 2003:

    A coalition of local churches operated a three-night medical and dental clinic in Cashiers, NC with funding from the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. Using only volunteer labor, 320 appointments were completed.
  • 2005:

    The Blue Ridge Mountains Health Project, Inc. was formed to create a permanent Free Dental Clinic in Cashiers to address the dental needs of underserved populations. The Clinic operated in a 1,400 square-foot space with used equipment and served 222 patients with one volunteer dentist and a hygienist.
  • 2013:

    Board leadership supported a renovation of the Clinic that doubled its size to 3,000 square feet and provided the facility with new, state-of-the-art equipment within six operatories.
  • 2016:

    The Clinic serves patients in our community with one Staff Dentist, 10 Volunteer Dentists, two Registered Dental Hygienists and two Dental Assistants. Donor and foundation support enabled the Clinic to upgrade its radiology and charting systems to digital technology.
  • 2017:

    The Clinic served 725 patients and performed 5,530 procedures at a value of $1,100,000!
  • 2018:

    The Clinic’s staff dentist treats patients three days a week, hygiene is offered three days a week and ten volunteer dentists treat patients throughout the year, moving us to a five-day-a-week operation.

 

Our accomplishments have not gone unnoticed by many health leaders in NC.  In 2017, the NC Department of Rural Health awarded the Clinic a grant to support our Hygiene Program and the Duke Endowment recently awarded the Clinic a prestigious three-year grant to help increase access to dental care in WNC. Additionally, the Clinic was recognized as one of the top performing clinics in the state by the NC Association of Free and Charitable Clinics (NCAFCC) and by Blue Cross Blue Shield NC Foundation.