Shelbyville welcomes Meharry Dental Clinic at open house and ribbon cutting

Members of the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry and local dignitaries gathered In Shelbyville Friday to celebrate the opening of a Meharry-run community dental clinic. Left to right: Linda R. Witt, senior associate vice president for development in Meharry’s Division of Institutional Advancement; Dr. Henry Young, SOD assistant dean and associate professor; Fredia Flack Lusk, executive director of the clinic; Dr. Cherae M. Farmer-Dixon, SOD dean and professor; Dr. William P. Davis, associate professor of restorative dentistry; Dr. Julie Gray, assistant professor and Meharry community based dental collaboration director and Dr. James E. Tyus, chair and professor of restorative dentistry.


Shelbyville-Bedford County leaders and representatives of the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry gathered Friday for the open house and Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting of a new dental clinic.


The facility, part of the Community Clinic of Shelbyville and Bedford County, Inc., is an extension of the work being done in communities across the state via the school’s mobile dental unit, said Dr. Cherae M. Farmer-Dixon, dean of the School of Dentistry.


“We were able to bring our mobile unit and…have our whole entire Meharry team and our students to be able to come down and really make a difference in the community,” she said. “Our passion is that we meet people where they are…so this was a match made in heaven that gave us an opportunity to do this.”


The new dental clinic, at 200 Dover Street in Shelbyville, was the beneficiary of significant donations for equipment from the Delta Dental of Tennessee Smile 180 Foundation, and free rent, maintenance, utilities and WiFi from Bedford County Government.


“This really is a testament of what happens when we put the people first and the health care first and how we provide services to those individuals, making that the priority—how we can collectively come together with a common vision and a common goal, and what can happen,” Dr. Farmer-Dixon said.


According to their website at, “The Community Clinic of Shelbyville & Bedford County, Inc. is a free dental and medical clinic providing limited health care for the working, uninsured, low-income adults of Bedford County, Tennessee. Since 2003, the Community Clinic has provided quality preventive healthcare which is essential to saving lives, reducing disability, and lowering costs for medical care.”