CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati council members Laure Quinlivan, Cecil Thomas and Wendell Young are sponsoring a motion that would fund evening hours at city health care clinics in the wake of the death of Bootsy Collins' nephew.
Kyle Willis, 24, died Aug. 30 at University Hospital after a tooth infection spread to his brain.
Shortly before his death, Willis, who lives in New Richmond, went twice to emergency rooms in Clermont County with horrible tooth pain. ER doctors gave him a prescription for an antibiotic, but he could not afford to fill it.
"Had Kyle Willis come to one of our city health clinics, he would be alive today," said Quinlivan.
Quinlivan, who chairs the Quality of Life Committee, held a special hearing on Tuesday to discuss Willis' death with the Collins family. Dr. Larry Hill, CincySmiles Director, Dr. Wael Safi, Cincinnati Board of Health Chair and Dr. Noble Maseru, Cincinnati Health Commissioner all testified during the hearing.
Bootsy Collins, his wife Patti, and several other family members also spoke at the hearing, hoping to educate the public to the importance of the emergency dental care offered at Cincinnati's health clinics, provided to everyone regardless of ability to pay.
"This has devastated our family," said Patti Collins.
"We're here today to turn a negative into a positive," added Bootsy Collins.
"The death of Kyle Willis is a tragic reminder of the importance of emergency dental care. People line up every morning at 4:30 am at our health clinics to get emergency dental care," said Quinlivan.
The City of Cincinnati's five Primary Care Health Centers and Crest Smile Shoppe Dental Clinic serve over 10,000 dental patients, perform 24,000 dental procedures and 7,000 emergency dental visits annually. Seventy-two percent of these patients have no insurance.