Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Demand for Services Up at Dental Clinics


Monday, November 2, 2020   

DENVER -- Colorado's community dental clinics are open again, after a brief closure due to an executive order by Gov. Jared Polis in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and demand for services is high.

An Nguyen, chief dental officer at Clinica Family Health, said the downtime allowed the state's safety-net facilities to secure enough personal protective equipment, and make changes to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Since social distancing is impossible during most procedures, clinics invested in technologies that recirculates air about every 6 minutes, using HEPA filtration and ionization to capture and remove bio-aerosols, and high-vacuum suction units.

"So essentially what happens is it keeps the air contained in one area, treats it before it has a chance to move to other spaces, which is really crucial when you have people moving in and out of a small space," Nguyen explained.

Most staff that were laid off or furloughed are also back, with some taking on different roles.

Some now screen patients before and during visits, others are 'runners' who move between rooms so other staff can stay in place.

Nguyen said all patients and staff get a temperature reading before entering the clinic, and must clear a COVID screening.

Erin Major, chief dental officer at Summit Community Care Clinic said workers wear N95 masks, covered by a Level 3 mask, and face shields during appointments.

She added when they were able to reopen, she was surprised that people were clamoring for services even if they weren't in pain. She said Summit has been booked solid since June, and staff are going above and beyond to ensure that everyone who needs care can get it.

"But we're doing our best, we're booked out about six weeks now," Major noted. "We can still get patients in, and we do, we have a commitment to seeing all patients that are in pain. So we do have openings every day for immediate and acute appointments."

Nguyen said while the closures created short- and long-term challenges, there was a silver lining. In addition to fast-tracking innovations such as tele-dentistry, and redesigning spaces and workflows, the pause allowed clinics to step back and focus on what was most important and in sync with their values.

"Our response to the pandemic has been ensuring safety for our patients and staff, and bringing our staff back to work," Nguyen stated. "Because without great, highly skilled staff, it is really hard for us to continue to provide the kind of high-quality access that we're known for."

get more stories like this via email

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021