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Appreciative of support for state-operated dental clinics

The staff of the state-operated dental clinic, Fergus Falls Dental Group, would like to show its appreciation by thanking the many people who helped to save the Fergus Falls clinic and four other state dental clinics that serve the developmentally disabled population.

Without your concern, care and help these most vulnerable citizens of our state would have lost access to this needed service. To name a few of the people will not cover all of those who came out to support these clinics and show how much they are needed. However, we would like to acknowledge some of these people who made this happen. Without their efforts these clinics would have been closed.

First off, Representative Bud Nornes is just a super person, and he has shown how much he cares for people. His initial effort to make this issue known to his colleagues was invaluable. Bud Nornes and Representative Thomas Huntley and Senator Dan Skogen worked close with Senator Linda Berglin to add language for the dental clinics to the Omnibus Bill for Health and Human Services.

It was a bumpy road, but after a second version of this bill, Governor Pawlenty signed it into law. Thank you to these fine people. Others we know were very involved in this include Representatives Mark Murdock, Torrey Westrom, Jim Abeler, Paul Thissen and Sentor Bill Ingebrigtsen. We thank them and the many other Representatives and Senators for doing the right thing for our patients.

We know many guardians and patients were concerned during this whole process. We thank you for your patience and any support you gave to help keep the clinics operating. A special thank you goes to the Minnesota Dental Association; their support and efforts help to create the awareness of why these clinics are so necessary. We thank the Fergus Falls City Council for publically acknowledging their support for the need to have these dental clinics.

Thank you to all of you who brought the awareness out so the state legislature could do the right thing for our patients.

Russ Johnson

Fergus Falls