A long awaited dental clinic at TOMAGWA is now a reality, thanks to a partnership with the Tomball Regional Health Foundation (THRF). THRF is the new name of the Tomball Hospital Authority, which ran Tomball Regional Medical Center until its sale in 2011.
"Tomball Regional Health Foundation's vision is to become a catalyst for measurable health and wellness improvements in Tomball and the surrounding communities," TRHF Chairman Jack Smith said. "Our partnership with TOMAGWA and the launch of this dental program is an example of how we will advance this goal."
TOMAGWA had the facilities in place to provide dental services, but had been waiting to raise enough funds to open it. That's when TRHF stepped in. The provided $475,000 to fund start-up and operational costs for two years.
"We received the funding from them and we are very appreciative," TOMAGWA executive director Judy Deyo said. "God had us on hold for awhile, but once again our prayers were answered. To God be the glory"
The new dental clinic will be run by Lorie Jones, who said the focus now will be on hiring a part time dentist, as well as securing volunteer dentists and hygienists to help staff the clinic. The clinic is set to open Jan. 3 and will initially serve current TOMAGWA patients.
"We can't wait to serve the needs of our patients," she said.
The clinic has four separate stations and will provide preventative and restorative services and will be open from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The clinic will be able to handle up to 2,600 visits a year. Monday through Friday. The clinic was supplied with all digital equipment, which allows TOMAGWA to stay ahead of the curve technologically.
"We were trying to plan ahead by going with all digital equipment," Jones said.
The dental clinic is not the only news coming out of TOMAGWA, Deyo said. Plans are rapidly moving forward for a new full-time clinic in Magnolia.
"We are very excited right now," Deyo said. "We will soon be moving into negotiations on a lease for space in the Landmark Building."
The building, which sits on FM 1488 in Magnolia, has approxiamately 6,000 square feet of space that TOMAGWA is looking to lease.
Deyo said that as the process moved along, more and more people have jumped on board over the past year. It came to a head Oct. 25, as area leaders, pastors and business professionals were treated to a tour of the potential site.
"We have met with leaders in the community several times over the past year so today was very exciting," she said. "We had a number of pastors there that had not been there before."
The group has estimated that it will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to build, equip and staff the new site so they have created a fundraising committee and a marketing committee to begin that process.
"We would love to have people interested in helping to become a part of this," she said.
After a lease is finalized, TOMAGWA will begin the process of receiving bids from architects and contractors, "within the next few weeks," Deyo said.
"Magnolia has been waiting for this for a long time," she said. "The community is very important to us and we are thankful for everything."
As far as a time frame, Deyo said it depends on how quickly fundraising efforts come together.
"We will move as rapidly as we can get the help of the community," she said.