Mobile Dental Clinic
Dental Vans Bring Smiles
Tyler and Stevenson working on a happy patient
Northern Grant County residents recently got some help with their smiles when two Medical Teams International dental vans were parked at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Long Creek for four days.
Portland area dentists Dr. Julia Robirds, Dr. Paul Brent and Dr. Keith Valachi volunteered their services, along with dental hygienists Virgina Olea. They were assisted by Debbie Stumbaugh from Bend and Keith Canwell from Walla Walla. Oregon Health Science University dental students Tyler Bendixsen, Stevenson Smith, Wille Fugere and Jonathon Coutin also volunteered. Monument Registered Nurse Pearl Spencer provided local coordination. Eric Sines of Long Creek and Kai Hanner of Pendleton also helped out.
Meals for the volunteers were generously provided by local residents.
Over 80 patients donated what they could afford and received everything from basic cleaning to fillings and extractions. Many were also treated for gum disease, root canals and denture problems. Patients came from Long Creek, Monument, Dale, Dayville, Kimberly, Mount Vernon, Spray, Mitchell, Prairie City, John Day, and everywhere in-between.
This is the fifth year the Medical Teams International vans have come to the area at the request of Dr. Keith Valachi, who owns property outside of Long Creek. "I had volunteered with Medical Teams for years. Then we got the cabin here and I really wanted to help folks in this area," said Valachi. "I told my colleagues about the need here and they wanted to help too."