Access to Care Day Recap
The second Access to Care Day, a community event presented by the Indiana University South Bend Dental Hygiene Program to offer free basic dental services, took place April 18 to a high turnout, with over 200 patients being provided free exams, extractions, and fillings.
“We began registration at 5 am and our first patient had been in line since midnight. When I arrived at 4 am, there were at least 15 people in line. By 5 am, there were close to 50,” said Kristyn Quimby, Program Director for IU South Bend Dental Hygiene. The event was covered by ABC57 and WNDU, as well as the South Bend Tribune.
Approximately $113,125 worth of free dental services were provided to 217 community patients. Every patient had an exam, and there were 218 extractions and 88 fillings performed.
Quimby credits the success of the community event to the efforts of the faculty and students who have been planning the event since the fall semester: “This was a fantastic day due to the hard work of our adjunct faculty member and group leader, Hayley Klauer, and her student group.”
Access to Care Day is part of the DHYG-H309 Practice of Community Dental Hygiene course and was put together by Klauer, and her group of five students: Rachel Beachy, Steph Sciacca, Erin Szweda, Megan Nilson, and Janee’ Bryant.
“This was my second year being involved in Access to Care and my first year helping to plan it. I most definitely plan on being involved again next year. I always have reassuring moments during this event because we are able to help the under-served population,” said Janee’ Bryant, President of the Dental Hygiene Class of 2015.
According to the feedback received from community members who took part in the event and received free dental services, Access to Care Day achieved its goal of helping those who needed it the most:
“Without insurance it’s hard and I’ve had a tooth with a cavity for awhile. Because of your event I was able to get it filled and I’m now without pain. I can’t thank you enough! Also, to all the people who volunteered their time THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!” – attendee Dawn Cook, on the Indiana University Dental Hygiene Program Facebook page.
Bryant agrees that all of the time, resources, and effort put toward the event were well worth it, and reaffirmed why she has decided to go into the dental hygiene field:
“Our goal is to make everyone’s lives and health better, one smile at a time. The best part of the day was when a woman made eye contact with me with tears of joy in her eyes and uttered the most heartfelt ‘thank you’ that I have ever heard in my life.”
In addition to Access to Care Day, the IU South Bend Dental Hygiene Program and its faculty leaders, Hayley Klauer, Diane Lemanski and Mallory Edmondson, also present other service-learning events for students to take part in, including their Sealant Clinic, Give Kids a Smile, and work with the Center for the Homeless.
For more information about the Dental Hygiene Program and its community events, contact email@example.com.