Chapter 1: Partnerships and Planning—Introduction
Once a passionate member of the community recognizes that access to dental care is a real problem for uninsured and underinsured families, the dream of a new community dental clinic is born. Converting such a dream to reality requires unlimited energy, hard work, and a thick skin. There is usually a mountain of decisions to climb and storms to weather before the dream becomes reality. Much of the territory may be unfamiliar. Although passion is essential, it must be tempered by reality checks to determine the ability to create a sustainable new clinic. Should you take the challenge? One person may be all that's needed to get started.
Chances of success are greatly increased by partnering with others. In this endeavor, there truly is strength in numbers. In addition to a number of partners, however, you'll need other numbers (data and financial projections) to make your case, as well as anecdotes and photos to make the problem real.
This chapter discusses two phases for establishing a safety net dental clinic:
- Gaining support through partnerships and
- The planning process to determine the feasibility of opening a clinic.