Tazewell County Health Department looks to expand dental, clinical service to Pekin
Tazewell County's purchase of a building in Pekin takes the health department one step closer to offering more services closer to the county's population center.
Tazewell County is buying the building at 1800 Broadway Street in Pekin from Carle Health with about $2.38 million of American Rescue Plan Act funds. The new location will offer dental services, as well as clinical and WIC services. Other services will remain in Tremont.
Amy Fox is the administrator of the Tazewell County Health Department. She said about 19% of the county's residents can't access dental care, primarily because they're uninsured or on state-sponsored plans with limited provider options.
"There is a gap. So we hope to be able to fill that need for families, and really keep dental out of things like the emergency room," Fox said.
The county's old dental clinic in North Pekin served about five thousand people a year until it closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new facility is a familiar one for the health department, which also utilized the building on Broadway to offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations during the pandemic.
"We're really thrilled. So it's a building we know and are familiar with, and know we can provide great services out of that location," Fox said.
The county will lease about 2,400 square feet back to Carle Health. The health care provider is assessing which services to provide out of the Pekin location.
Fox said this new building will be easier for people with transportation issues to access than the main campus in Tremont.
There isn't a timeline for an opening date yet.