Elm Street Dental Center To Be Dedicated To Memory Of Kyle Willis, Late Nephew Of Bootsy Collins
The City of Cincinnati will dedicate the Elm Street Dental Center in honor of Kyle Willis, the late nephew of famed musician Bootsy Collins and his wife Patti, at a public ceremony at the health center, 1525 Elm St., at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug 23, 2012.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of Kyle Willis’s untimely death. He was a 24-year-old single father who passed away unexpectedly as a result of an untreated dental infection when he could not afford a prescribed $27 antibiotic.
City officials have been working with the Bootsy Collins Foundation’s Kyle Willis Oral Care Program to raise awareness about unmet dental needs in the Cincinnati region. As a result of this partnership, and with $250,000 in funding from Cincinnati City Council, Cincinnati dental clinics have been offering extended dental hours since April 2, 2012. The program is on track to provide 2,700 additional dental visits annually. The support from City Council followed a special hearing called by Council Member Laure Quinlivan to discuss the preventable death of Mr. Willis and focus efforts on the expansion of Cincinnati’s growing dental care needs.
"Expanding the hours of the dental clinics has proven successful in diverting patients from the emergency room, providing needed treatment, increasing service availability, and saving tax payers’ money," said Dr. Noble Maseru, Cincinnati Health Commissioner. "Our resources and partnerships have allowed us to be proactive in treating the dental needs of many more patients in Cincinnati, patients just like Kyle."
"The loss of Kyle Willis reminds us of the importance of not only dental health, but access to dental care, which is why City Council funded the expansion of dental service hours at the City’s dental clinics," said Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls, Chair of City Council's Budget and Finance Committee.
"In honoring his memory, we are creating awareness for the hundreds of 'Kyles' in Cincinnati, those who need access to affordable dental care," added Council Member Laure Quinlivan.
According to the Ohio Department of Health access to dental services is the leading unmet health need for children and low-income adults in Ohio.
The City of Cincinnati’s five Primary Care Health Centers and Crest Smile Shoppe Dental Clinic see more than 10,000 dental patients, perform 24,000 dental encounters and 7,000 emergency dental visits annually. 72% of these patients have no form of insurance. Annually 35,000 patients utilize City of Cincinnati Health Centers and 58% have no form of health insurance and are ineligible for Medicaid.
About The Bootsy Collins Foundation
The objective of the Bootsy Collins Foundation is to provide the greater Cincinnati underserved populations with access to oral care education, resources and to direct individuals to available dental services. They work with healthcare and oral health professionals offering education to providers and institutions diagnosing and treating community members. The project mission is to assure that all people, regardless of their personal situation, never go untreated for oral care/dental conditions which could lead to a health risk for them and their families.
For more information: www.bootsycollinsfoundation.org