Wisconsin awards county health department $50K to expand severe pain program

The La Crosse County Health Department was awarded additional funding from the Wisconsin Department of Human Services to expand a program aimed at helping patients suffering from severe dental pain.

The county health department was originally granted $59,783 in 2019 to run the program through 2020. One goal of the program was to increase access to emergency dental care to curb opioid addiction. La Crosse County has experienced a shortage of dental health professionals, leaving existing practitioners unable to meet the demand of people who need low-cost dental care. This often leads to patients instead visiting emergency rooms and being prescribed opioids.

The program helped 304 patients during its first year, leading the state to increase funding to $113,715 so the program can continue through 2021.

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