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Open wide: Hundreds show up for Catholic Charities free dental clinic
The Deacon's Bench ^ | August 3, 2013 | Deacon Greg Kandra

Posted on 08/04/2013 1:00:11 PM PDT by NYer

From my Shamelessly Proud of Where I Came From file…a great story involving my alma mater in Maryland, St. Vincent Pallotti High School:

The first two people in line arrived within 10 minutes of each other Friday evening, ready to sleep on the sidewalk overnight for free dental care at a high school in Laurel on Saturday morning.

Twelve hours later, one woman was reclining in a dentist’s chair, getting a new tooth made of a synthetic composite. The other was heading home: The temporary clinic, which served 700 people Friday and Saturday, was unable to provide the treatment she needed, which involved multiple crowns and an abscess, without a specialized lab.

About 300 other adults were turned away over two days because of the overwhelming demand for dental care at the Mid-Maryland Mission of Mercy clinic. The clinic, at St. Vincent Pallotti High School, was sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington and the Maryland Office of Oral Health.

Many of those who waited in long lines at the clinic said they couldn’t afford the high price of dental care. Even those who had insurance said rising out-of-pocket costs made it unaffordable for them to have their teeth cleaned, cavities filled or root canals performed.

More than 400 volunteers — about half of them dentists, hygienists, oral surgeons and others in the field — provided more than $750,000 worth of free care over the two days, according to Deacon Jim Nalls of Catholic Charities. The work ranged from basic cleanings to root canals and wisdom teeth extractions, Nalls said.

Yasmin Bellavigna, 40, of Laurel, the first person in line for Saturday’s session, said that a cap fell off a tooth a year ago after a root canal and that even with dental insurance, she couldn’t afford to replace it. So the stay-at-home mother of two girls brought a yoga mat and blankets at 8 p.m. Friday, and watched as the line quickly curled around the block.

Cathi Stallings, 55, a social worker from Falls Church, joined her about 8:10 p.m., hoping to have several procedures done, including several crowns. She said her insurance wouldn’t cover the cost of the crowns, about $2,000 each.

“There’s not enough to cover everything I need,” Stallings said.

Although she didn’t receive the treatment she needed, Stallings said, the “eye-opening” trip was worth it. “It made me realize how many people are in the same boat,” she said.

Read the rest.

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: catholiccharities; maryland

1 posted on 08/04/2013 1:00:11 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...


2 posted on 08/04/2013 1:00:41 PM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Fantastic. And people say that charities cannot provide health care.

4 posted on 08/04/2013 1:15:40 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: JCBreckenridge

When I first landed here, I interned momentarily for a production company for experience but to pay the bills, I got work as a charity manager in Skid Row for 2 Catholic charities. It’s 95% black and they get the best dental treatment for free provided and run by USC Dentistry students. You won’t get this kind of free healthcare stuff back in BC.

5 posted on 08/04/2013 1:49:48 PM PDT by max americana (fired liberals in our company after the election, & laughed while they cried (true story))
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To: max americana

No, sir. No, I won’t :(

6 posted on 08/04/2013 2:32:01 PM PDT by JCBreckenridge ("we are pilgrims in an unholy land")
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To: NYer

What an excellent service to provide!

7 posted on 08/04/2013 2:58:08 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: NYer

Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh runs a free dental/medical clinic downtown for people with no insurance. They are scheduled appointment, not walk-ins. They are always advertising in the local newspaper, looking for dentists and hygienists to volunteer.

8 posted on 08/04/2013 8:35:52 PM PDT by toothfairy86
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