Safety Net Program

The Uninsured Adult Healthcare Safety Net Program partners with Federally Qualified Health Centers, Community & Faith-Based Organizations, Tennessee Charitable Care Network, Tennessee Primary Care Association, and Project Access to increase access to healthcare for uninsured adults ages 19 to 64 to provide Primary Care, Dental Care, and Behavioral Health.

Safety Net Annual Reports

Primary Care Office

The Primary Care Office is responsible for determining the shortage designations for Primary Care, Dental Health and Mental and Behavioral Health. Data collection and reporting are primary tasks of the office as well as being the liaison to State and Federal programs.

Health Resource Shortage Areas (HRSA)
Federal Shortage Areas

Tennessee Healthy Smiles Initiative

Smile on 65+
Through a partnership with Interfaith Dental Clinic, the Smile On 60+ program provided statewide oral health care and case management services for older adults, in addition to addressing social determinants of health, and established a pipeline of skilled geriatric care dentists and teams. The program funded charitable clinics and FQHCs and served approximately 10,000 older adults over the course of its three year, which expired in 2021. The Healthy Smiles Initiative would continue the program for an additional five years, change the age to adults 65+ to better align with the Denture Program and other existing safety net services.

Tennessee Dental Safety Net Denture Program

Championed by the late State Representative Charles Sargent, state funds support some of the cost of dentures for working-age Tennesseans (18-64yo) seen in charitable care clinics. The program, administered by the Smile 180 Foundation, has helped more than 2300 Tennesseans with significant oral health challenges to improve their quality of life, including gaining employment through the transformative power of a healthy smile.


Alle Crampton, Safety Net Program Director
State Office of Rural Health
Division of Health Disparities
Tennessee Department of Health
Andrew Johnson Tower, 2nd Floor
710 James Robertson Parkway, Nashville, TN 37243                                                                                                                          Phone: 629-208-5444