Mack Molding donates $150K to support dental clinic

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ARLINGTON — Mack Molding has donated $150,000 to the Battenkill Valley Health Center to support the center's dental clinic. This is Mack Molding's second gift of this size to the center.

"The idea that education and healthcare are at the heart of every community has been the guiding light of Mack's philanthropic efforts for nearly a century," Don Kendall, the CEO of Mack Group, said in a media release. "Battenkill Valley Health Center's dental clinic is a great addition to the Town of Arlington, and we are happy to support its mission to bring residents greater access to oral healthcare."

According to Kendall, the company is committed to supporting organizations through philanthropy in the communities where their employees live and work.

Mack Group is the parent company of Mack Molding, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts to companies in a wide range of industries, including healthcare.

BVHC opened its dental clinic in May 2017 following a complete renovation of the 9 Church St. location in the heart of Arlington. In addition to dental services, BVHC offers primary and preventive medical care, mental health, substance use disorder, and nutrition counselling, and nurse case management.

In May 2016, BVHC received $1,000,000 grant funding to renovate facilities, thereby expanding operations and serving more patients. With renovation expenses reaching nearly $2 million, there was a financial gap that needed to be bridged.

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"Mack Molding's support of the dental clinic allows us to offset some of the financial obligations that come with a start-up program like dental," Kayla Davis, co-executive director of BVHC, said in a release. "The financial investment in opening a dental clinic is significant, but barriers to dental care in our region are real and we knew we needed to be a part of the solution.

"Support from community members, like Mack Molding, allows us to continue on with our mission to provide quality care to all. On behalf of the board of directors, staff and patients, I am honored to announce that we will be naming the dental clinic in recognition of Mack Molding's continued support and for their belief that we are a healthier community when everyone has access to quality dental care."

BVHC is one of a few practices in Bennington County that accepts dental patients who have Medicaid. According to the center, the dental team, led by dental director Stephen Phillips, DDS, has seen 1,668 unique patients since opening, resulting in 6,039 patient visits.

In an effort to broaden access, BVHC began a partnership with the University of New England (UNE) College of Dental Medicine in September 2017, welcoming fourth-year dental students to the clinic. During their rotation at BVHC, dental students provide care to patients of all ages under Phillips' guidance, gaining leadership skills in the field of dentistry. The center believes that working in a rural area provides students with a range of skills, while giving the community greater access to oral care.

"We feel a sense of ownership in contributing to the healthcare workforce and feel that partnerships with organizations like UNE benefit both sides; it trains the future healthcare workforce and expands access to needed services now. Support from organizations like Mack Molding and their belief in the work we are doing is integral in our ability to do so," Davis said.

"It takes a village - and we are grateful for the many ways Mack Molding supports our village, the village where their employees live, work, and receive their healthcare. We are honored to call them our friends."


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