Blue Ridge Health plans to reopen Collins Dental Center in Polk County

Published 8:00 am Friday, June 15, 2018

Having served the area since 2006, Collins Dental Center in Columbus closed its doors on May 30.

But new leadership will soon mean the reopening of the program, which will focus on maintaining the oral health of local residents in Polk County.

Following the announcement of the center’s closing, leadership from Blue Ridge Health, Polk County Local Government, Rutherford-Polk-McDowell Health District and Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry began working together to identify an alternative solution to permanently closing the center. After discussing potential options, the four organizations were in agreement that Blue Ridge Health should assume the operations of the practice.

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Before Collins Dental Center opened in 2006, Polk County had some of the highest numbers of untreated kindergarten dental decay in the state. Now more than 80 percent of preschool children have the dental care they need.

This is just one example demonstrating why this resource should continue to be available to the center’s more than 4,000 active patients in the region, officials said.

“Maintaining access to quality, affordable care is a core mission of Blue Ridge Health,” said Dr. Richard Hudspeth, chief executive officer and chief medical officer for Blue Ridge Health. “After actively working with our community partners to explore available options for keeping Collins Dental Center open, we all agreed that having Collins join the Blue Ridge Health family is in the best interest of the greater Polk County community.”

While Collins Dental Center is currently closed, Blue Ridge Health plans to reopen it as soon as possible.

– Submitted by