The smooth and successful implementation of Loma Linda University School of Dentistry’s 21st annual Clinic With A Heart (Sunday, January 23, 2011) demonstrates the benefits of experience and commitment.
Five hundred twenty-five individuals from the Inland Empire and beyond lined up beginning at 8:00 Saturday evening for free dental care. By early afternoon on Sunday, 275 individuals (261 adults and 14 children) had received at least one procedure: a cleaning, deep plaque removal, a filling, or an extraction.
Organized each year by Mary Hartwell, LLUSD dental clinics manager, the 463 volunteers that made this outreach to community needs possible were comprised primarily of School of Dentistry faculty, students, and staff. But significant help came as well from LLU School of Nursing students, and dental assisting students from Chaffey College (9), Riverside City College (16), and Baldy View Regional Occupational Program (20).
Inland Empire media are essential partners in promoting Clinic With A Heart. The San Bernardino Sun, Press Enterprise, Redlands Daily Facts; KFROG 95.1 FM and KSGN 89.7 FM; and quite a number of local area SDA church bulletins (with the addition of The Rock Church) provided the vehicles that announced the event. Social media extended their reach, attracting patients from as far away as Orange County and the high desert.
The event’s organizers and volunteers were introduced this year to Desi Nuckolls, a new representative from Proctor and Gamble (Crest) that once again provided all volunteers with custom, Clinic-With-A-Heart t-shirts, oral hygiene kits for each patient to take with them, and $1,000 contribution toward needy children who come to the School’s pediatric clinic for treatment.
The encouraging figures for service provided at this year’s Clinic With A Heart show quite an increase over 2010: $39,291 in oral health care services to 275 patients, bringing the event’s lifetime total to almost half a million dollars in oral health care to the School’s underserved communities. Most important, however, is the mutual benefit experienced by both the recipients and the providers of care.