Give Kids a Smile Day Provides Care for the Needy
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and Mendocino Community Health Clinic (MCHC) will continue its annual tradition of caring for the most vulnerable people in our local communities by participating in Give Kids a Smile Day. On Saturday, February 7, dental employees from all three sites (in Ukiah, Willits and Lakeport) will volunteer to provide thousands of dollars worth of free dental care to children who could not otherwise afford it.
“Give Kids a Smile Day is a great event,” said Dental Manager Becky Driscoll. “Last year we provided more than $15,000 worth of free dental care to more than 40 pediatric patients.” The event requires preparation in identifying qualified patients (families without dental insurance who meet specific income criteria), setting up appointments, preparing equipment and supplies, and cleaning and sterilizing everything after the patients leave.
During Give Kids a Smile Day, Community HealthCorps members will provide educational entertainment for patients and their families at Hillside Health Center in Ukiah and Little Lake Health Center in Willits.
Dental Director Dr. Doug Lewis spoke highly of his colleagues who provide dental care at this event, and also noted that without a supportive employee team, the event would not happen, saying, “It takes a lot of work to effectively plan and execute this type of event, and many employees deserve the credit: the patient service representatives, dental assistants, sterile techs, and HealthCorps members.”
To continue celebrating Children’s Dental Health Month, MCHC has teamed up with the Redwood Empire Dental Society and area schools to distribute toothpaste and toothbrushes to local school children. MCHC has already distributed toothpaste and toothbrushes to many schools, including: Nokomis Elementary (Ukiah), Small Wonders State Preschool (Ukiah), Talmage State Preschool (Ukiah), Potter Valley Elementary School (Potter Valley), Blosser Lane Elementary School (Willits), and Willits Head Start (Willits).
Give Kids a Smile Day is a national event in which thousands of dentists and their teams provide free oral health care services to children from low-income families. In February and throughout the year, MCHC provides dental care to children. For more information, call (707) 468-1010 or visit mchcinc.org.