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Staff and officials of Community Health Programs and the Adams Dental and Family Services cut the ribbon at the Depot Street offices on Wednesday.
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Reception area.
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Pantry in the Family Services offices.
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One of the new operatories.
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Clockwise from bottom left: Brian Drake, Mary Feuer, Bethany Kieley, Christine Hoyt, Jonathan Butler and Casey Pease, representing state Sen. Paul Mark.

CHP Celebrates Opening of Dentist Practice in Adams

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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CHP's Director of Dental Services Nicole Wilkinson speaks at the celebration of the practice's opening in Adams. 
ADAMS, Mass. — Community Health Programs Inc. is expanding its reach into North County with the opening of a dental and family center in the former Adams Internists. 
 
CHP celebrated the opening on Wednesday night with tours of the renovated portions of the building on Depot Street, speakers and the cutting of a ribbon. 
 
"Human beings deserve the best dental treatment available, whether they have private insurance, Medicaid or no dental coverage at all," said Nicole Wilkinson, director of dental services. "With our dental expansion, we hope to bring that inclusion to all of Berkshire County starting here in Adams."
 
The opening of the dentistry, which will complement the North Adams Family Medical & Dental Center at North Adams Regional Hospital, will serve another 700 individuals in the area. 
 
Brian Drake, president of the CHP board, said the organization will continue to fill the gaps in health care throughout the region.
 
"We're also of course driven by our mission to nurture and inspire healthy lives for people throughout the Berkshires by delivering exceptional and compassionate health care and family services," he said. "Adams is an example of these criteria."
 
CEO Bethany Kieley said these are the moments that they strive to become a reality. "Lots of years of hard work and we're just really delighted that it's come to fruition."
 
The dentistry consists of four "operatories" in light neutral colors and wide windows, including an accessible one to accommodate wheelchairs. The chairs also have built in monitors for displaying X-rays to patients, though Wilkinson said they've also been handy for showing cartoons to calm children. 
 
There's cabinets and sterilization equipment and a $25,000 panoramic X-ray machine will allow for 360 degree radiographs once installed. 
 
The renovation was about $847,000 and largely funded through donations and foundations. 
 
"With my 30 years of experience in the dental sector, I saw a community here that deserved better access to dental care and to be treated with up-to-date, aesthetically pleasing facilities by a team as passionate as I am about the care of their patients," said Wilkinson. "We designed this office to be calming and bright and have state-of-the-art technology for more thorough and accurate diagnosis and treatment."
 
The practice will have two dentists with the potential for a third specialist who may rotate through and a hygienist. Plus with two dentists and three hygienists at the hospital, CHP is hoping to provide more access to care. 
 
Wilkinson acknowledged the general shortage in not only dentists but hygienists and assistants as well. 
 
"We have been lucky. We're really promoting our new offices. So we've been able to attract a lot of attention," she said. "And we've been lucky to find people that actually want to work in public health."
 
CHP is also working with McCann Technical School's dental assisting program and Wilkinson said enrollments are up at other dentistry schools. 
 
The practice has a waiting list for regular appointments but Wilkinson thinks that the wait will drop once the second dentist starts within the month. 
 
"We've already reduced our wait times a lot. It used to be six, eight months to get an appointment. We're now down to about three months to get an appointment," she said. "And then as these new people come on, we're going to shorten that to even like we should be able to get people in within a month for and that's a typical new patient. No problems, no pain. If somebody's in pain, we get them in within 24 hours. ...
 
"We really are truly open to everybody. It doesn't matter if you have insurance, don't have insurance. You don't have private insurance. MassHealth whatever you have, we have sliding fee schedules based on income levels."
 
There's still a number of vacant medical exam rooms in the building. Adams Internists and North Adams Family Medicine had joined CHP in 2015 and later moved its offices to the hospital. 
 
"We focused everything on bringing Family Services, and bringing dental back and now we're looking to assess this area, find out what we can use this for what the community needs and what's going to be best," Wilkinson said. 
 
The Family Services portion offers help in connecting to social service agencies, medical and dental referrals, insurance enrollment and other needs. It has a pantry and clothing and diaper exchange. The Food for All program offers fresh local food from farmers on the first and third Tuesdays of the month.
 
Mary Feuer, director of family services, said the connection with Adams goes back six or eight years when the Council on Aging had asked about the Mobile Food Bank at CHP's headquarters in Great Barrington and expressed how great the need for food was. 
 
It took some time but now the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts has a regular schedule and the Family Services office is open. 
 
"We are we are taking our time to learn the families here, learn the individuals and as we get to know them we will understand what their needs are and that's how we will create our expansion of Family Services," said Feuer.
 
Local officials welcomed the opening of center, with 1Berkshire's President and CEO Jonathan Butler saying it was a welcome investment. 
 
"It makes us a more viable place for families to live. It makes it a more viable place for us to continue to plan into our future and invest in this region," he said, adding that as a resident, it was also a great resource. 
 
Selectmen Chair Christine Hoyt said, "it will have a positive impact here on our community and particularly on the health of our residents," adding the downtown location will make it even more accessible. 
 

Tags: CHP,   dentist,   ribbon cutting,   

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Stentiford Walkoff Lifts Lions in Adams-Cheshire Title Series

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
ADAMS, Mass. – Cooper Stentiford homered to right field to drive in two runs in the bottom of the seventh and give Lions Club an 9-8 win over Bedard Brothers in the first game of the Adams-Cheshire Little League championship series on Friday at Beaver Bard Field.
 
Stentiford, who went 3-for-4, chased home Camden Durant, who hit a leadoff double for Lions, which has made a habit of dramatic comebacks.
 
“This was our second game in a row we were down big that we came back,” Lions coach Matt Kirchner said. “Last week, we were down nine going into the bottom of the sixth. That was to clinch a series.
 
“This one, same thing. And we’re short staffed with 10 kids. They stay with it. As long as the stay up, we stay up.”
 
This win was arguably as dramatic.
 
The Lions were down, 6-0, midway through the third inning and still trailed, 7-5, going to the bottom of the sixth.
 
But they scored two two force extra innings and two more to erase a one-run lead and walk off with game one of the series.
 
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