KAUNAKAKAI, Hawaii (KHON2) — The Hawaii Dental Service Foundation donated $149,988 to the Molokai Community Health Center to improve the oral health of Molokai families by expanding its dental services.

The grant will be used to purchase “state-of-the-art equipment, including an intraoral scanner, computed tomography X-ray and motorized dental handpieces that will provide advanced dental care access to underserved residents on Molokai,” according to the Molokai Community Health Center.

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The community health center stated that the equipment will address the “overwhelming increase in demand for oral hygiene and dentistry services island wide.”

“We are grateful to HDS Foundation for supporting our efforts to expand advanced dental care for the people of Molokai. With consistent year-to-year growth of new patients, plans are underway to double the size of our current dental clinic and practice that will allow us to provide for the growing needs of residents regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. This gift will be used as a strategic investment in our dental expansion focus.”

HELEN KEKALIA, CEO OF MOLOKAI COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER

According to Molokai Community Health Center, oral health in Hawaii has become a critical public health issue, particularly among the Native Hawaiian population and residents in rural and neighboring island communities.