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Free dental care coming for Southern Oregon vets

Some 30 to 40 veterans will be able to get free dental care — cleanings, fillings, extractions — for six hours, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, in downtown Medford.

The service will be provided by ColumbiaCare Veterans Resource Center.

ColumbiaCare will have three chairs and run half-hour shifts in a “MouthMobile” semi-van in its parking lot at 601 N. Grape St. Dental care may extend beyond the basics.

The event can handle 29 patients, with 10 on a waiting list, said Chris Vorgang, peer support specialist at the center.

Veterans can sign up at 541-779-8564 and should bring a vet’s ID, such as a veteran’s card (available at Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center & Clinics in White City), a notation on a Driver’s License or a DD214 discharge form.

The center engages the “unique challenges veterans may face, including behavioral health issues, homelessness, unemployment, chronic health conditions, social isolation and trauma,” according to its website, www.columbiacare.org/veterans.html.

The center, a nonprofit, receives grants from the Veterans Administration. Its grants-per-diem program enables three different houses with 40 beds for veterans, plus a cottage for trans veterans or couples, said Vorgang.

“We do weekly case management with each veteran, helping overcome barriers of substance abuse, legal and VA issues and other matters,” he says. Their motto is, “We believe people get better.”

Dental tools and equipment over blue background.Set of metal medical equipment tools for teeth dental care