'So many people need us': Pandemic threatens Hawaii's only free dental clinic

Hawaii's only free dental clinic faces an uncertain future in the wake of inadequate funding and drastic patient volume increases, according to local ABC affiliate KITV.

Honolulu-based Aloha Medical Mission treated 352 uninsured patients during June; that compared to the clinic's previous monthly average of 120 patients. The clinic, which operates only on funding and grants, recently received a letter from the Hawaii government denying funding applications due to the state's pandemic-induced financial hardships.

"So many people need us," Toni Muranaka, the clinic's owner, told KITV.

Ms. Muranaka has asked the community for support to keep the clinic running and has said she is worried the clinic may not be able to provide care to all the patients who request its services.

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