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Drs. Acree and Isenhower are Modesto, CA family dentists who are actively involved in the community. Please browse through some of the many community involvement events we have taken part in and be sure to check back soon as we are always adding new entries.
Mobile Tooth Care Coming to Needy in Modesto
Monday, Nov. 29, 2010
By Kevin Valine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A church ministry that feeds and clothes the poor and cares for them when they are sick wants to give them basic dental care. Calvary Temple Worship Center's Nineveh Outreach is joining with two Modesto dentists on a mobile clinic that would treat the homeless, working poor, the unemployed and others. They hope the mobile clinic, a soon-to-be converted dial-a-ride bus, will be on the road by spring.
The bus would complete a circuit of four Modesto parks, stopping at one of them each Saturday. The need for free basic dental care is great, especially since the state eliminated most dental services more than a year ago for adults on Medi-Cal, the state-federal insurance program for the poor. More than 65,000 Stanislaus County adults were eligible for the benefit when it was cut. The executive director of the Stanislaus Dental Society said there are no free clinics in the county. But a free health clinic being built at The Salvation Army's homeless shelter will include basic dental services.
Robin Brown said she gets as many as seven calls a day from desperate people seeking help. "I get calls from 70-year-olds looking for care," she said, "and there are not many resources to send them to. I get parents calling about their 20-year-old son who has moved back home, has no job, no insurance and has an infected tooth."
Dentists Andrew Fletcher and Corey Acree are working with Nineveh Outreach pastor Chuck Cutsinger and Hope Medivan administrator Doug Buchanan on the clinic. The two dentists have years of experience helping others. Acree and members of his dental staff travel to Mexico each year for a week to work with orphans. Fletcher's volunteer work included a stint at the county's now-defunct dental clinic. Both said the mobile clinic is a way to live their faith.
Nineveh Outreach has been providing the needy with food and clothes since 1997. Its volunteer-staffed Hope Medivan started in October 2009, providing free basic medical care to the uninsured, seniors, unemployed and others.
"No. 1, because I'm a Christian, I need to live a life of service," Fletcher said. "Secondly, we are businessmen in this community. Though he and I are passionate about doing dentistry south of the border and elsewhere in the world, there are needs … right outside our doors."
Fletcher said the clinic would provide such basic care as fillings, pulling teeth, making minor repairs to dentures, and treating acute infections as well as severe cases of tooth decay. He said the mobile clinic will provide the kind of services that will keep people from showing up at emergency rooms, where doctors give painkillers and antibiotics but can't deal with the
underlying cause. As the mobile clinic's volunteer staff gains experience, Fletcher said, it's possible the clinic could offer more services, such as teeth cleaning. Cutsinger said the mobile dental clinic is a natural evolution of Nineveh Outreach's mission.
"We feed and clothe people," he said, "and in helping people we find there are other needs besides food and clothes."
HOW TO HELP: The mobile dental clinic needs volunteer dentists, dental assistants, and hygienists to staff it, as well dental equipment and supplies. The clinic also needs monetary donations.
If you are interested in volunteering or donating equipment or supplies, contact Doug Buchanan at 529-7346, ext. 313.
Checks can be sent to Nineveh Outreach, 1601 Coffee Road, Modesto, 95355. Write "dental clinic" in the memo line.
WHY CALL IT NINEVEH OUTREACH? Nineveh was a city in the Old Testament where God sent the reluctant prophet Jonah. Nineveh Outreach is named after this city because it willingly goes where no one else wants to go. Its workers help the homeless, poor and others in need.
Original article appeared in the Modesto Bee on 6/28/2010