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Walls going up on expansion for dental clinic

Construction is moving right along on the Halifax Regional Dental Clinic, located in Houghton Industrial Park in South Boston.

The dental clinic is part of a 10,100 square foot expansion of the Halifax Primary Care Facility, with 3,700 square feet designated for the dental clinic and the remaining 6,400 square feet to accommodate future expansion of the Primary Care facility.

The dental clinic would support at full capacity two dentists, two to four dental assistants and one dental hygienist.

The entire project is projected to cost $2.5 million, with $1.3 million designated for the primary care expansion and $1.2 million for the dental clinic.

Part of the funding for the dental clinic comes from a $700,000 Community Development Block Grant, a $400,000 tobacco commission grant, $20,000 from the Delta Dental Network Foundation, $10,000 from
the Wells Fargo Foundation, $4,000 from Suntrust and $1,000 from Captrust.

Vernon Hill native Dr. Bridget McDowell Brown will serve as dental director and will practice dentistry at the clinic.

A lot of things had to come together in order for the expansion to take place, according to Halifax Regional Health System CEO Chris Lumsden, who spoke at the ground-breaking for the Primary Care expansion several months ago.

According to Lumsden, Halifax Regional Health System started planning for the primary care center and the need for dental services six or seven years ago.

The current primary care facility, with 18 exam rooms built to accommodate six physicians and mid-level providers, is almost at maximum capacity which led Halifax Regional Health System to plan for expansion, according to the chief executive officer.

A total of six physicians or mid-level providers along with 15-20 staff was planned for the primary care clinic three years ago, and those goals have been met.

Lumsden anticipated four additional physicians joining the facility within the next eight months, two immediately after projected completion of the expansion in January or February.

One dentist, Brown, will be on staff when dental clinic construction is complete, and the clinic is built to accommodate two dentists, Lumsden added.

One hygienist and two support staff also are anticipated for the dental clinic when it opens.