Fundraising effort needed to save Community Dental in Rumford

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Lisa Kavanaugh, Community Dental chief executive officer, led a 90-minute meeting Thursday at Rumford Hospital with about 30 community
leaders and River Valley residents to gauge community support for sustaining Community Dental’s reopening.
The nonprofit dental office, located in the River Valley Technology Center since Dec. 2008, has been closed since July 2 when high winds from what was believed to be a microburst ripped off 30 percent of the RVTC roofing. Water poured in from the storm and heavily damaged the office.
Until that time Kavanaugh said they had 2,300 active patients. “Since we’ve been out for over two months and losing money in operations, we
need to support the center financially to offset costs for providing our services at a reduced fee.”
They’ve also had to wait and see what their insurance provider would cover.
Two factors have hurt Community Dental.
One is the loss of $200,000 from Funds for Healthy Maine, of which $25,000 to $30,000 would have been allocated to the Rumford office.
“We have not been able to make that up,” noted Cavanaugh, adding that Rumford lost $37,000 in the first quarter of 2014.
The second factor occurred in January when 19,000 adults lost their Maine Care coverage, which lowered the number of users of Community
Dental.
Community Dental’s Board of Directors are to make a decision at its meeting on Sept. 19 to either reopen the Rumford center, downsize or close it.
“We need to show our board that we have the support necessary to raise the funds,” said Kavanaugh.
That support includes starting a fundraising effort which Kavanaugh estimates will need to be between $20,000 and $30,000.
To kick-start the fundraising campaign, David Frum, president of Rumford Hospital, said the hospital is pledging $7,500 annually for three years.
Rich Allen, who is on the Technology Center’s Board of Directors, the Rotary Club, and employed by Franklin Savings Bank in Rumford, said he would check with bank officials to see if the bank could offer help, as well as the Rotary Club.
Community Dental also has dental health centers in Farmington, Lewiston, Biddeford and Portland.

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