West Central Dental Resources, Inc., dba Caring Hands Dental Clinic, began as a vision over a decade ago by a group of caring local citizens. Those visionaries included Dr. Lowell Einerson DDS, Dr. Robert Mohs DDS, Dr. William Heegaard MD, Dr. Timothy Gehring DDS, Jennifer Kuznia, Sister Patrice Kiefer, Ruth Nagle, Mary Lou Olsen and others. These folks realized an urgent need to provide dental care and education to those underserved citizens on Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs. Due to the extremely low reimbursements from the State for any dental work provided to these citizens, private dental offices would loose money seeing them, thus the access to care, including children, was very limited at best. Also at issue were the dental emergencies that would have to go to the hospital emergency room for dental care, where only temporary pharmaceutical relief was available.

This group met over the years and obtained initial funding from the Douglas County Hospital’s Auxiliary to allow an emergency dental program to begin. With this funding dental emergencies were referred to area dentists for treatment and the offices were paid a stipend for their services, if desired. Finally most of the area dental emergencies were receiving treatment for the problem. This program took some of the pressure off of the hospital’s emergency room, but still the area was lacking a clinic to provide preventative dental care and education. Without preventative care and education available, there would be no slowdown in emergencies.

In 2006 the Board obtained additional funding and opened the doors of the Caring Hands Dental Clinic. It first began in borrowed space in a local chiropractor’s office. Not long after that the big push began, and the Clinic established its home in the Marion Building, located at 700 Cedar Street in Alexandria. The clinic remained at 700 Cedar until moving to their new location in April 2015, at 2209 Jefferson Street in Alexandria. This new state of the art facility can allow the clinic to serve more citizens.

The clinic has gone through enormous growth and changes. Through generous donations and some large grants, the clinic expanded in July of 2012. This expansion included a full-time staff of 2 dentists, 2 hygienists, 2 dental assistants, and office staff. The funding also allowed substantial technology upgrades such as digital x-ray equipment, computer system and sterilization equipment. The grants allowed the clinic to obtain the mobile equipment used in its' Outreach Services. With these upgrades in staff and equipment the lengthy waiting list went away. In January 2015 through obtaining a $250,000 grant from the PrimeWest Health's Community Reinvestment Program and substantial other grants and donations, construction began on our new facility.

Please click here for the 2015 Annual Report.

The clinic is recognized as a 501c3 Non-Profit, a Minnesota Critical Access Dental Provider and a National Health Service Corp site. It was nominated for a Minnesota Rural Health Team Award and was awarded the 2013 Minnesota Department of Human Services, Commissioner's Circle of Excellence Award for the outstanding, high quality dental care and education provided by the Clinic's outstanding staff.


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(L to R) Commissioner Lucinda Jesson, Al Olsen, Mary Lou Olsen