BELOIT - Beloit Area Community Health Center's dental clinic is expanding by hiring Dr. John Tran, which brings the center's total number of dentist positions up to five.
At this time, the center has no waiting list. Ruth Amenda, director of operations, said this is the first time during her tenure at the center there's been no waiting list. She has been working at the center for about five years.
"At one point about three years ago there were 800 people on that list," Amenda said.
The center added four rooms to its dental clinic last year, which allowed the health center to bring on an additional doctor and hygienist.
She said the center has added 200 to 300 patients to its schedule in the last few months.
Amenda said dental students also have been rotating through the facility, which means more patients can be seen.
The clinic's newest dentist was one of those students.
Tran graduated top of his class from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. During his final year, he had the opportunity to rotate through different clinics, including the Beloit Area Community Health Center.
"As an immigrant to this country and through my formal trainings, I understand the oral health disparities that affect many communities and the need for preventive as well as comprehensive care," Tran said.
Community Health Systems CEO Julie Sprecher said she's pleased to have Tran join the clinic's dental staff.
"There is such a need for dentists and dental care in our community, with the addition of Dr. Tran we will be able to increase our ability to see new patients while continuing to provide quality dental care and services to our current patients," Sprecher said.
In addition to regular dental care, the center also has been operating an emergency care center for two years now. Last year, more than 800 visits were made to the center.
In total, the health center's dental clinic had 15,000 visits last year and has had about 9,000 visits so far this year.