Keeping the “Dental Bus” Rolling — The Ada Jenkins Center/Matthews Free Medical Clinic/LKN Community Health Clinic Collaborate

Keeping the “Dental Bus” Rolling

In order to reach even more underserved patients, and to keep the “dental bus” rolling even more often, the Ada Jenkins Center has entered a collaboration with the Matthews Free Medical Clinic and the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic.

Starting late summer 2021, we project to serve 500 dental patients across Mecklenburg County and parts of our contiguous counties using the Ada Jenkins Center’s Mobile Dental Unit, which was forced to remain inoperable due to COVID.


 NEWS RELEASE – April 13, 2021

The Matthews Free Medical Clinic of Matthews, NC; the Ada Jenkins Center (AJC) of Davidson, NC; and Lake Norman Community Health Clinic (LNCHC) of Huntersville, NC, are excited to join forces for a new regional collaboration that expands access to dental care for uninsured patients.

“Dental services have been a long-time gap in health care for not only our patients, but all uninsured people in our community. We are so grateful that through this partnership, we will not only meet this need for our patients, but together, we will extend the impact to serve even more people in need”. says Amy Carr, Executive Director of the Matthews Free Medical Clinic. 

Adds LNCHC Executive Director, April Cook: “This partnership is going to be a game changer for all of our patients.  The lack of access to dental care has been a huge gap in providing overall health and wellness to the uninsured in our community.  Our hope is that this program will be expanded in the near future to other free and charitable partners within our region!

Starting late summer 2021, the agencies estimate serving 500 dental patients across Mecklenburg County and parts of our contiguous counties, using the Ada Jenkins Center’s Mobile Dental Unit, which was forced to remain inoperable due to COVID. With input from Ada Jenkins Center’s lead volunteer dentists, the Mobile Unit is undergoing air filtration and circulation upgrades that will allow for safe use once again.

In contrast, the Mobile Unit – staffed by volunteer dentists and hygienists – served 156 dental patients during the 2019-2020 program year, abruptly halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The COVID crisis is a storm that nonprofit agencies have learned to weather together, “ says Harold E. Rice, Jr., CEO of the Ada Jenkins Center. “The COVID-19 economy – resulting in decreased contributions from some major funders — has forced the Ada Jenkins Center, like many nonprofit organizations, to seek intra-agency partnerships and economies of scale in order to stretch community resources.” Most recently, the Ada Jenkins Center Free Medical Clinic transitioned its medical patients into the care of the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic. The Ada Jenkins Center is reinforcing its economic mobility services for families in northern Mecklenburg County through case management; education/ employment, financial, and housing coaching; and its after-school academic enrichment program.

The partnership is in discussion with several other Charlotte-area agencies for future service area expansion. Applications are now being accepted for the position of Dental Clinic Director to oversee the new clinic operations, including scheduling volunteer dental professionals, scheduling patients, and ensuring clinic regulation compliance. For more details:


About the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic  

Lake Norman Community Health Clinic is the oldest and largest medical provider serving the uninsured in Mecklenburg and South Iredell counties. LNCHC provides acute and chronic care and is open five days a week, with evening clinics on Wednesdays. LNCHC not only focuses on prevention and treatment of disease, but in managing healthy outcomes for patients. Lake Norman Community Health Clinic is accredited by the North Carolina Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and, in 2020, earned a Gold Rating from the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics Quality Standards Program. The clinic strives to help patients make health decisions based on the best available, valid, and reliable evidence. Since its 1998 founding, the clinic has provided nearly 89, 700 appointments for 8,150 patients. Learn more:


About the Ada Jenkins Center

The Ada Jenkins Center has stood in Davidson for more than 80 years as a hub for education and community services in northern Mecklenburg County. With services including social work case management; housing, employment and financial coaching; youth and adult education; and food pantry, we help people in our community create lasting solutions for economic stability. As a result of COVID-19, since March 2020 we have assisted more than 315 families with emergency payments toward rent and utilities; and provided food to nearly 2,500 people at our food pantry.  To learn more:


About the Matthews Free Medical Clinic   

The Matthews Free Medical Clinic provides free, quality health care to low income, uninsured patients in Mecklenburg and Union Counties. MFMC provides primary care, chronic disease management, specialties and ancillary services, including behavior health and social work case management. Since the pandemic started in 2020, the clinic has served nearly 1000 individuals in the community through services and social work. To learn more:  



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