SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A $1 million expansion and renovation is underway at the Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk, with the goal of serving more than 200 more dental patients each year.

The renovation, which will add about 1,000 square feet and increase the number of dental chairs from two to four, is expected to be complete by fall 2023. The clinic held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, with Suffolk Mayor Mike Duman and others present.

“2022 was the clinic’s 15th anniversary,” said Ashley Greene, the executive director of the Western Tidewater Free Clinic in a release on Friday. “This is the perfect time to celebrate our accomplishments, while also setting the stage for us to serve more patients through this expansion. We’re so thankful for our donors for making this possible.”

The comes after the clinic, which helps uninsured, underinsured and underserved adults in the Western Tidewater area, just hired its first permanent, full-time dentist in August 2022.

“Our ultimate goal with this expansion is to serve more patients in need of our services and we thank all those who have supported these efforts,” said Western Tidewater Free Clinic Board Chair Bob Hayes. “The board is excited to look toward the future and the growth of the clinic.”

The project was supported by many donors in a 2022 capital campaign, including the Obici Healthcare Foundation, Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation, Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Violet Greco Foundation.

You can learn more about the clinic here.