Rochester waiting room

Apple Tree's Rochester Center Gets Major Remodel Thanks to Generous Grants

May 7, 2024

(Rochester, MN; January 11, 2024) – Apple Tree Dental is proud to share the news of the remodel of the Rochester Center for Dental Health’s entire lower level and first floor patient services areas.  This remodeling project was accomplished in phases and completed in the fall of 2023 after several years of planning, fundraising, and construction.

Apple Tree originally established dental care in Southeastern Minnesota in 2008 providing essential on-site dental services for nursing facility residents in the area.  In 2013, with local community support, Apple Tree launched the Rochester Center for Dental Health, expanded into a full-service, brick-and-mortar dental clinic on Skyline Drive SW.  The building has two levels, one above ground and one below.

With the ever-growing need for Critical Access Dental providers in and around Olmsted County, the Rochester Center soon required remodeling to optimize space and expand access to care for underserved patients.  In 2018, planning began to renovate both the upper and lower floors.

The lower level needed remodeling first.  In 2022, supported by grants from Mayo Clinic and Rochester Area Foundation, the unfinished lower level of the Center was completely remodeled.  The lower level is the hub of Apple Tree’s Southeastern Mobile Dental Program which provides comprehensive, on-site dental care for 19 regional long-term care facilities and group homes.  It also serves as office space for the Center’s patient care coordinators and dentists.

With the lower level completed, remodeling of the first floor clinic, including expanding the waiting area was launched.  The Rochester Center is one of few clinics in the area with a dental team trained to provide advanced oral health services for patients with special needs, the majority of whom are on Medical Assistance and require special accommodations.

Supported by grant funding from Mayo Clinic, Rochester Area Foundation, the Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation, and Think Bank, in 2023 Apple Tree completed the first floor remodeling.  The clinic now has space for mobility aids such as motorized wheelchairs and provides required HIPAA privacy for patients as they are welcomed to the Center for their care.

“The need for affordable dental care around Rochester is huge,” said Casey Berge, Apple Tree’s Southwest Regional Director, who oversees the Rochester Center.  “We see a lot of patients with special needs, including accessibility needs, so optimizing existing unused space at the Center was crucial to expanding critical access dental care in the area.  Our patients have said it’s a vast improvement!”

Dr. Michael Helgeson, Apple Tree’s CEO and co-founder, expressed gratitude to the funders that made the remodeling possible.  “I just can’t thank our funders enough for their generosity.  Supporting the remodeling of the Rochester Center is making it possible for us to provide critically needed oral health services in Southeastern Minnesota.”

Read more information about the funders and access a PDF of this press release here >>>

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