DETROIT — Smile with Pride: Corktown Health is opening the first LGBTQ+ affirming nonprofit dental clinic in Michigan with support from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF). In Detroit, more than 131,000 people identify as LGBTQ+, representing almost 4% of the population.
“We are excited to partner with the Delta Dental Foundation in launching this new dental clinic,” said Anthony Williams, CEO of Corktown Health. “Oral health is too often neglected, but it is a critical component of overall health. Our efforts to reduce the health disparities faced by LGBTQ+ residents will be enhanced by offering dental care in this affirming and supportive environment.”
Located in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, Corktown Health focuses on providing care to the LGBTQ+ community. Adding this three-chair dental clinic to the health center will expand access to care, making Corktown Health a one-stop shop for primary care, behavioral health services, case management, dental, financial assistance and insurance navigation.
Dental clinics that provide affirming care are essential. In a recent survey, 84% of responding oral health providers reported that their practice environments are welcoming to LGBTQ+ individuals. However, 43% of LGBTQ+ respondents reported feeling uncomfortable going to appointments. That disconnect is troubling, especially because discrimination and fear of discrimination can have significant downstream effects, such as decreased service utilization and poor health outcomes.
At Corktown Health, community input is key to service delivery. The team addresses patients with the names and pronouns they use. Registration processes and forms use inclusive language, and staff completes regular training in cultural competency and trauma-informed care.
“Good oral health should be a point of pride,” said Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the DDF. “Offering the Detroit LGBTQ+ community a place to receive care without fear of judgment or discrimination, is one step closer to a more equitable future for dental care.”
The clinic will open and begin scheduling patients in late July. To schedule an appointment, visit corktownhealth.org or call 888-435-5655.
From left to right: Anthony Williams, president and CEO of Corktown Health; Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation; and Detroit City Council Member Gabriela Santiago-Romero.
From left to right: Detroit City Council Member Gabriela Santiago-Romero; Anthony Williams, president and CEO of Corktown Health; and Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation.
From left to right: Anthony Williams, president and CEO of Corktown Health; Detroit City Council Member Gabriela Santiago-Romero; and Holli Seabury, EdD, executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation.