July 18, 2002
HEALTH DEPARTMENT DENTAL HYGIENISTS, LOCAL DENTISTS
TEAM-UP TO OFFER FREE DENTAL CARE
Charlotte, NC – Dental hygienists from the Mecklenburg County Health Department expect to treat more than 50 under-served local children and refugees during a day of free dental care.
Health Department hygienists screened the children at local summer camps, including a special summer camp for refugee children run by the Sisters of Charity in Charlotte’s Cherry neighborhood.
Services will be provided to these children and a number of adults at Dr. Richard Dest’s office in University Medical Park on Friday, July 19, 2002. The clinics will run from 9:00am to 11:00am and from 11:00am to 1:00pm.
After seeing the need for their services based on response to a day of free dental care offered to at-risk children earlier this year, dental professionals have expressed a desire for more opportunities to volunteer within the community, says Peggy Rohleder, a dental hygienist with the Mecklenburg County Health Department.
A Charlotte-area dentist and his staff volunteered to treat dozens of patients after Health Department hygienists identified many children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools that were in need of dental care. Since then, the “Partnership for Children’s Health” has formed. That group is working with the Health Department to identify more children in need and organize efforts to get them medical care.
Rohleder says they will be treating some Montagnard children, as well as children from Bosnia, Somalia and a number of Hispanic children.
Before efforts like this, some of these children had to go as far as Augusta, Georgia to get dental work done,” says Rohleder.