Atlantic City, NJ, January 19, 2024 – AtlantiCare, an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health, proudly announces the grand opening of its first dental practice as part of its Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) program at the Medical Arts Pavilion (7 South Ohio Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ). By adding access to dental services, AtlantiCare hopes to decrease emergency department visits for dental emergencies annually and address oral health issues before they become emergent, aiding in the overall health and well-being of patients.
“We’re excited to announce the establishment of our first dental practice within our healthcare system and realize the vital role the dental center will play in delivering comprehensive health services and high-quality care for all members of our community,” said Michael J. Charlton, President and CEO of AtlantiCare. “This added service underscores our commitment to holistic healthcare, recognizing that oral health is integral to a patient’s overall well-being. Dental care services for adults and children are a significant need in the Atlantic City area. We can now ensure that every individual, regardless of socioeconomic status, will receive the care they deserve.”
The opening of the dental practice comes during AtlantiCare’s 125th anniversary, a year-long celebration highlighting all AtlantiCare has achieved since first opening its doors. AtlantiCare’s FQHC has played a significant role in that legacy. Since AtlantiCare opened its first FQHC in Atlantic City in 2003, this program has provided great benefit to the community, including access to high quality primary medical, behavioral health, and now dental services for all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, or ability to pay for services. Annually, the FQHC serves 12,057 patients each year for over 56,000 visits, a number that has increased 3% – 5% year over year.
“For 125 years, AtlantiCare has provided high-quality care to people across South Jersey, including to the medically underserved. I’m proud to have helped secure funding for AtlantiCare’s first Federally Qualified Health Center dental practice in Atlantic City to build on this remarkable legacy, and I’m excited by this latest expansion, which will allow the center to offer preventative oral care that improves health and saves families money,” shared U.S. Senator Cory Booker, whose support was instrumental in the opening of the dental center.
“You need access to the right care to prevent oral diseases,” said Srikar Vulugundam, DDS, MPH, BDS, Dental Director. “The opening of this dental practice will have a positive impact in Atlantic County, and I look forward to working with AtlantiCare’s talented team to advance our mission of improving the health and wellness of our community.”
The 4,200 sq. ft. dental suite will house nine dental operatories and an on-site lab. The dental practice will be staffed by two dentists, three dental assistants and two hygienists. The first patients will be seen in late February.
AtlantiCare is an award winning integrated healthcare system based in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, whose team of more than 6,500 serves the community in over 100 locations in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May and Ocean counties of southern New Jersey. Committed to an innovative approach to providing best in the industry care, AtlantiCare’s vision of building healthy communities drives its mission of making a difference in health and healing, one person at a time. Learn more at atlanticare.org or 1-888-569-1000.