Media Release

Southwest Dental Clinic Community Open House and Check Presentation

Wednesday, October 7, 2015 11:30 AM

Community Open House- Southwest Dental ClinicALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County will announce a $1.85 million grant from United Health Foundation to support the new Southwest Dental Clinic on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, at 10 a.m. at the Community Open House and check presentation. This event is at the Southwest Dental Clinic (across from the Southwest Advocacy Group Resource Center, 816 S.W. 64th Terrace, Gainesville). It is free and open to the public.

At the event, guests and community leaders will join the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County on a tour of the new clinic.

Speakers at the event include:

  • Charles (Chuck) Chestnut IV, Chair, Alachua County Commission
  • Paul D. Myers, M.S., Administrator, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County
  • Scott Tomar, DMD, DrPH, University of Florida College of Dentistry
  • Dorothy Thomas, SWAG Special Projects and Fundraising Chair
  • Michael Lawton, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Florida

The dental clinic is part of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County’s Dental Emergency Department Diversion Program, which aims to improve access to oral health care for county residents, providing preventive and restorative dental care such as examinations, X-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatment, fillings and tooth extraction.

A lack of dental care for low-income Americans has long put stress on hospital emergency rooms, according to a recent study published by Health Affairs. As of January 2013, about 45 million Americans were living in regions with shortages of dental care providers, especially in rural and urban areas.

The grant to support the full-time dental clinic is part of United Health Foundation’s “Helping Build Healthier Communities” program that is providing critical resources to organizations across the country to improve people’s health.

The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County works on a daily basis to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.  Their vision is to be the healthiest state in the nation. They are guided by their core values of innovation, collaboration, accountability, responsiveness and excellence (I.C.A.R.E.).

Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve the health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. Learn more at the United Health Foundation website.

For more information, contact Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Administrator Paul D. Myers at 352-334-8873 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).