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Custom-made trailer will bring dentures to seniors in Osceola County

Osceola County
Oseola County commissioners have agreed to fund a mobile denture unit for Osceola Community Health Services. This is an example of the interior. The Osceola County trailer has not yet been built.

Osceola Community Health Services will add a new mobile unit this year custom-fitted for seniors who need dentures.

Last week, the Osceola County Commission signaled support for a $300,000 grant to build a Mobile Denture Unit.

Chairwoman Viviana Janer said the trailer, coming in about six months, will bring low-cost dentures to seniors in far-flung neighborhoods, like Holopaw in eastern Osceola.

"They don't even have a dentist anywhere around them," Janer said. "So they could go. They could park at the Holopaw Community Center and have appointments for that day so that the seniors could go get fitted for their dentures or fix their partials or whatever the issue may be."

Janer said the unit will be part of the Health Seniors initiative.

Belinda Johnson-Cornett, president and CEO of Osceola Community Health Services, said the county has a shortage of dental providers and there are difficulties getting access to care.

"Our seniors are more challenged than anyone in these areas and in greatest need," she said. "They're usually on a fixed income, and they already have different ailments and illnesses that poor dental care impacts and makes worse."

She says the grant is for two years, serving an estimated 232 seniors a year. The denture-related care will include in-office help in Kissimmee as well the mobile unit.

Her agency will help with out-of-pocket costs, using payment plans and assistance, hopefully with grant funds, for those who qualify.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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