ES Rural Health to expand dental program in Northampton County


Eastern Shore Rural Health System, Inc. has expanded its dental program to include increasing its ability to see patients in Northampton County. During Rural Health’s most recent fiscal year, June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022, Rural Health saw 4,819 patients in 11,229 visits at its two dental centers in Northampton County.

Recent extension

In 2020, the opening of the new Eastville Community Health Center increased the number of dental chairs available from six to 14 chairs in the county. Rural Health added two dentists and a hygienist to the county with the opening of the new center in Eastville. An additional dentist was also added to the Rural Health Franktown Community Health Center in 2020. This dentist is supported in part by a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation. Additionally, the Franktown center was scheduled to close when the new Eastville center opened. However, in 2018 the community lost several private dental practices to retirement. The Rural Health Board responded by approving the maintenance of the Franktown center as a dental-only site in January 2019.

The Virginia Health Care Foundation grant-supported dentist added a second dentist to the Franktown center and eventually allowed Rural Health to move another dentist to Rural Health’s new Nandua Middle School dental site.

New Developments – Northampton County Public Schools Dental Program and School of Rural Health begin

In fall 2021, the Northampton County Public Schools Board approved an agreement with Rural Health to provide dental services to Kiptopeke and Occohannock Elementary Schools and Northampton High School/Middle School. Services will begin in September at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Initially, there will be a permanent dental site at Kiptopeke Elementary that provides services to both prevent oral disease and repair existing oral disease, while the Traveling Oral Health Program (TOP) will visit other NCPS schools offering prevention services. The NCPS curriculum will be modeled after the Accomack County Public Schools dental curriculum. Rural Health received a grant from the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation to purchase equipment for the Kiptopeke dental office.

With this program, parents allow their children to be seen during the school day. The

the student is escorted to the dental provider and then back to class. Children do not have to attend schools with a permanent location to be seen (Kiptopeke for now) – parents and caregivers can make appointments for any child in Northampton County aged 6 months to 18 years. Rural Health hopes to provide dental services to approximately 400 NCPS students in the first year of the NCPS-Rural Health dental partnership.

In order to participate in the dental program, parents must register and enroll their children. The application form will be included with the back-to-school documents sent home the first week of school and will be available at the back-to-school open day.



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