Ada Jenkins Celebrates Dental Clinic Anniversary – Volunteers Needed
July 2019 marks 17 years that the Ada Jenkins Center has provided free community dental clinic services for working adults, senior citizens and immigrants without access to dental care. In our 2018-2019 program year, our mobile dental clinic served 522 appointments for patients in Cornelius, Huntersville and Davidson, and another 403 for patients in our Regional clinics in Charlotte and Rock Hill, SC.
The clinic was started in 2002 by John Allen, DDS, of Davidson, when he and several other healthcare professionals recognized a substantial void in the oral care for those in our area with limited financial resources. “With the help of volunteers in our dental community, we have had great success in improving the oral health for those we’ve served,” says Dr. Allen. “For me personally, it has been very rewarding to help many without the means to do so on their own. I encourage my colleagues to volunteer their skills and time for this clinic because the oral care needs for the underserved in the Lake Norman region only continue to grow.”
“I volunteer on the Dental Bus because it’s the right thing to do,” adds Benjamin Yarborough, DDS, who has volunteered his time with the clinic for 14 years. “Ada Jenkins Center reaches and serves a segment of the population that is largely ignored. These are hardworking people who do not have the income to enjoy benefits that many others have. They need just a little bit of help.”
A high proportion of our dental clients are not eligible for Medicaid or NC Health Choice – or can’t afford a Medicare supplement – and they are not able to pay for private-practice dental services. Our mobile dental clinic is free to those who meet eligibility requirements, and reaches patients in their home communities, so transportation is not a barrier to care.
In the first year of operation, the Ada Jenkins Dental Clinic served 600 people. To meet growing demand, we are always in need of dental professionals – practicing and retired Dentists, Hygienists and Dental Assistants with current North Carolina licenses and or/certifications — who can join our dental volunteer team for 3-4 hours as a time. We also are in need of unexpired donated supplies: nitrile gloves, restorative materials (bond, etch, composite), and anesthetics.
For more information, please contact Joanna Palazzolo, Dental Clinic Manager, at [email protected].