Aaron Perry, dental clinic, men, families

Aaron Perry Builds Free Dental Clinic For Black Men And Their Families

Renowned community advocate Aaron Perry marked a significant milestone with the launch of the Perry Family Free Dental Clinic.

Madison365 reports that renowned community advocate Aaron Perry marked a significant milestone with the launch of the Perry Family Free Dental Clinic on Dec. 7, concurrently kicking off a national book tour. Situated within the Boys and Girls Club in Fitchburg, WI, the dental clinic extends the legacy of Perry’s other family clinics by aiming to offer preventative care and address healthcare access disparities. Reflecting on the inauguration, Perry acknowledged the crucial role played by SSM Health in establishing the first clinic dedicated to bridging health and wellness gaps, particularly for Black men.

“We were very fortunate to have SSM Health. When they were closing their old clinic and decided to build a new one, we knew right away that a lot of the medical beds and cabinetry were going to end up in a landfill somewhere,” Perry explained. “I reached out to them and said we’re going to create an SSM Health medical facility, only we’re going to call it the Perry Family Free Clinic, and it’ll be free, and we’ll take all of those old things out of your clinic.”

Expressing gratitude to AmeriCorps for their invaluable contributions, Perry highlighted the collaboration with FoodWIse, a UW Extension organization focused on promoting healthy eating practices. The Perry Family Free Dental Clinic intends to combat periodontal disease, emphasizing its connection to chronic inflammation and the risk of stroke and heart attack. Erica Olsen, one of the dental hygienists at the clinic, emphasized the clinic’s goal to educate patients for a healthier life.

Joseph Roy, who has been collaborating with Perry as the director of the Perry Family Free Clinic, and Erica Olsen, one of the dental hygienists, were present at the clinic’s opening. Olsen underscored the critical link between controlled diabetes and periodontal disease, emphasizing the role of chronic inflammation in overall health risks.

Perry acknowledged the collaborative efforts with FoodWIse and plans to utilize the Boys and Girls Club gym space for continued winter activity opportunities. He also expressed gratitude to the Wisconsin Partnership Program for securing grants that made the dental clinic possible.

“Would we have gotten here without their support? I’m not sure. We received a $300,000 community collaboration grant that got us started, and then we were awarded the community impact grant. That really put us over the top,” said Perry. “It gives me great pleasure that now we have medical and behavioral health, and we rounded out with dental care.”

As the clinic commenced immediate patient services over the weekend, Perry expressed optimism about the dental clinic’s positive impact on the community. The clinic, funded by a $300,000 community collaboration grant and a community impact grant, is poised to reshape the healthcare landscape in Fitchburg.

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