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Children's Dental Center


This Advantage Health Centers (AHC) project will provide needed space and facilities to sustain and expand dental services located in the Detroit Midtown area. AHC is contracting with Deliver Dental Solutions and collaborating with a cluster of organizations including the Detroit Dental Institute, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Pediatric Dental Residency Program and Developmental Dentistry to expand greatly needed dental services. This collaboration provides a wide range of oral health services to Advantage Health Centers’ patients while providing a sustainable structure for the pediatric oral surgical residency training program and maintaining a gateway to co-located complex oral health services. This collaboration is a sustainable and efficient model of health care delivery for low income and pediatric special needs patients. Both oral health and pediatric medical services are now located at The Children’s Center, 79 W. Alexandrine Street, Detroit, Michigan. AHC’s oral health services have outgrown the present 6,500 square feet of space. Therefore, relocation of the dental services and renovation of space in the Arnold Frank Building is planned to meet growing unmet oral health needs. The project’s new facility will have space for 19 dental chairs. AHC’s pediatric services will remain at The Children’s Center with the opportunity for expansion. AHC also operates Waller Healthcare for the Homeless nearby providing adult medical services to all. The proposed project’s facility, oral health services, and pediatric services are all located in close proximity in the development area of the Woodward Corridor Initiative—part of The Living Cities Initiative.

  • Locations: 4250 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI (Arnold Frank Building - JVS)
  • Contact: Joe Ferguson, Executive Director | 313.416.6217
  • Project Cost: $1,000,000
  • Seeking: Fundraising campaign has begun for remaining $280,000
  • Size: 16,000 sq. ft.; 1 floor
  • Start Date: End of 2014


Meeting Community Need, Increasing Access, Expanding Services


Community needs exceeds capacity. In the past year over 7,800 patients were provided over 17,000 visits —an increase of 2,000 over the previous year. The dental clinic receives over 20 requests daily for new patient appointments; a situation periodically forcing suspension of scheduling of new patients and limiting access in general. Staff is doubling and tripling up on available office space due. Thousands of children are going without care, developing complications, and having bad experiences and outcomes because their inadequate space in which to perform treatment.

Per capita income in this area is extremely low at $16,391. 87.4% of the population consists of ethnic minorities with 79.4% being African American. 35.2% of individuals under the age of 18 are at or below 100% of poverty and 59.2% of this group is at or below 185% of the poverty level (Detroit Kids Data). Detroit also had the highest low birth weight rate of 56 cities (13.1% versus 8.3% average). The all-cause mortality rate for Detroit children ages 1-17 was 100.7/100,000 versus 19/100,000 nationally. Fourteen percent (14%) are in foster care status. In addition, the 2009 Youth Behavioral Risk Survey of Detroit youth grades 9-12 reports health behaviors, perceived risks and health status. When compared to national averages: more likely to carry a gun to school 7.6% to 5.6%); have been in a physical fight (25.4% to 11.1%); felt unsafe at school (19.1% to 5.0%); have become sexually active before age 13 (18.2% to 7.4%). Detroit also experienced higher than average rates of sexually transmitted disease. This facility is planned to accommodate the medical and behavioral health personnel needed to attend to the needs of the children and adolescents of this area. It will expand access to pediatric clinicians and behavioral health services as well as facilitate access to secondary and tertiary care. AHC will work with its large array of community partners to provide community outreach to homeless service providers and other community organizations to increase awareness and access to children and adolescents in need of physical and behavioral health care.

Reaching Special Populations

The target population for this project consists of children and adolescents residing in the cities of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park, Michigan, between the ages of birth and 18 years old with special emphasis in providing needed services to Detroit’s insured, underinsured, uninsured, and homeless men, women, and children.

Improving Outcomes

The goal of the expansion of the pediatric center is to increase access to comprehensive, quality primary care and dental services and be a gateway to additional needed services. It is anticipated that the addition of the pediatric center will provide access to an additional 2,000 pediatric medical patients and 100 pediatric behavioral health patients, as well as allowing capacity for AHC to provide access for 3,000 additional adult patients. The expansion will allow for expansion of programs such as the Adolescent Care program. Currently, the program is just open to the "at risk” adolescents in Foster Care and pregnant teens. The addition of the pediatric wing will give the space needed to expand the program to many more teens in the service area. The plan is to enhance risk assessment surveillance by using the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale for Children (CES-DC) and the Comprehensive Addition Severity Index for Adolescents (CASI-A) or similar tools to assess teens in a variety of settings and generate referrals to Waller’s integrated primary/behavioral health care unit.

Program Innovation / Model of Delivery

The proposed project is designed as an integrated pediatric model that will focus on the "whole” child. The plan is to consider physical, developmental and mental health together. In partnership with Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM), one pediatrician, pediatric residents, and one family practice nurse practitioner with be the clinicians who provide primary care. The CHM network will provide secondary and tertiary care. AHC will contract with The Children’s Center (TCC) and will purchase the services of a MSW with psychiatric oversight to provide the behavioral health services, including intake assessments, crisis intervention, and ongoing treatment and planning for all patients referred for behavioral health services. Recently, AHC initiated a Wednesday evening (3:00-7:30 pm) Adolescent Care session as part of a strategy to encourage teens to choose healthy lifestyles and provide needed care and counsel. The mission of Advantage Health Centers is to improve the health status of the individuals and the communities we serve by providing access to high quality, respectful, and efficient health care services. It utilizes the Federally Qualified Health Center model of comprehensive, quality primary care, cooperating with the HHS Health Resources and Services Administration’s quality programs. It also functions as a primary care medical home providing team-base, integrated care including medical, dental, behavioral health and additional services such as community outreach, translation, case management and benefit assistance to assure access to and effective use of needed services.

Community Collaboration / Service Integration

Discussions are ongoing with Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s (CHM) Chair of its Pediatric Residency Program, Lynn Smitherman, MD regarding the placement of a faculty member on staff at the proposed Waller pediatric suite. CHM is a facility of Detroit Medical Center (DMC). The resultant relationship will assure access to specialty care at CHM. AHC also recently took over responsibility of the Detroit Medical Center’s (DMC’s) Children’s Dental Center retaining leadership of its dental residency program. In addition, AHC’s Waller Health Center is located in the development area of the Woodward Corridor Initiative—Part of the Living Cities Initiative, a 5 city initiative including Detroit providing grants and loans to improve access to education, health care, housing, transit and jobs. AHC is participating in the planning process to improve access to health services. AHC collaborates with many area organizations. It works with Voices of Detroit Initiative (VODI), a not-for-profit organization of local safety-net providers (Wayne County Health Dept.; Detroit Dept. of Wellness & Health Promotion; are FQHCs & free clinics) and are health systems (Detroit Medical Center, St. John Providence Health System and Henry Ford Health System). In addition to systematically assisting the uninsured placement in medical homes, it is recipient of a Beacon grant for a program utilizing health information exchange (HIE) to improve chronic disease. AHC is also a member of the FQHC Council of SE Michigan, a collaboration of 8 FQHCs, FQHC look-alikes and an HIS Title V Urban Indian Health Program. AHC collaborates with these and many other organizations in the Detroit area in order to also be a catalyst for access to health care and other resources for those who would otherwise go unserved.

Innovation in Design

AHC plans to maximize energy efficiency in this project, including HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. To this end, the RFPs issued for this project will contain the required language to stipulate that "green and sustainable materials” be used and appropriate engineering standards be followed to deliver the maximum in energy efficiency. This project will meet all requirements for commercial medical space.

Impact on Social Determinants of Health

  • Integration with; contribution to community development: The proposed development contributes directly to the area designated as the Woodward Corridor Initiative—part of the Living Cities Initiative providing needed care to the area residents and being an community anchor contributing to its built environment.
  • Improved transit options: Expansion of services at this location increases convenient access to care, since it is located adjacent to Woodward Avenue the main thoroughfare of Detroit on its main bus lines.
  • Contribution to job creation: Expansion of the clinical and support staff will add well-paying jobs with benefits to this area in active redevelopment.
  • Improved neighborhood safety: Upgrades and securing of the parking area will contribute to patient safety.


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