Loan helps expand dental practice in rural North Dakota

Rural electric and telephone cooperatives make RDFC programs possible. Pictured from L to R: Duane Bowman, Dakota Western Bank; Paula Anderson, RDFC; Teran Doerr, Bowman County Development Corporation; Scott Bachmeier, Consolidated Telecom; Dr. Jennifer Sarsland, Prairie Dental; Lauren Klewin, Slope Electric Cooperative. (Courtesy Photo)

Prairie Dental, the office of Dr. Pat Kelly and Dr. Jennifer Sarsland, is now welcoming customers at its new location, 12 Sixth Ave. SW, thanks in part to a $27,000 loan provided by the Rural Development Finance Corporation (RDFC). The loan provided a portion of the community funds needed to secure an interest buy-down from the Bank of North Dakota (BND). Founded in 1994 by North Dakota’s rural electric and telecommunications cooperatives, RDFC helps rural communities grow by offering low-interest financing.

Dr. Jennifer Sarsland bought the building, formerly Southwest Healthcare Clinic, to house the dental practice. The facility provides additional space for the growing practice, including nine operatories. The new location will allow the practice to schedule more appointments and offer extended hygiene hours. Prairie Dental offers a wide variety of services, including dental implants, orthodontics, preventative care, teeth cleaning and whitening. The dental practice employs 11 people, and plans to hire more in the future.

“This loan is an example of RDFC’s commitment to the cooperative principle of concern for community,” says RDFC Board Member Paula Anderson. “Our vision is for rural communities to enjoy a vibrant and fulfilling quality of life. RDFC is proud to assist in financing a project that provides dental services and jobs in rural North Dakota.”

BND’s PACE and Flex PACE program provides financing with an interest buydown for businesses deemed eligible by a local economic development entity. RDFC loan funds help communities meet the required community participation. RDFC will loan up to 50 percent of the participation requirement for projects approved by BND.

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