County commissioners reject Clinica Medicos program

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Hamilton County Commission rejected a request to spend Health Department money on a pediatric dental program.

Mayor Weston Wamp supported the plan to shift $250,000 from the Health Department’s budget to a program by “Clinica Medicos.”

The program aspired to provide dental services for children in underserved Hispanic communities.

Commissioners voted on the matter Wednesday morning.

They said they did not have a problem with the program. However, they did not like the idea of sending unspent county money to a private clinic without making it available to others.

Mayor Wamp later sent out a statement of disappointment about the vote.

The statement in full reads:

“The growing Latino community in Hamilton County, now 20 percent of our public school population, has been overlooked by public officials for years, and they were overlooked again today. Earlier this year, Chattanooga was ranked 149th of 182 U.S. cities in overall public health. We must ensure that vulnerable populations have access to affordable healthcare services. Clinica Medicos will continue their outstanding work to serve Hamilton County students and families, which has been supported by the State of Tennessee and our most prominent local foundations. While today’s vote was disappointing, we hope county commissioners will join these other partners in supporting the vital services provided by organizations like this.”

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