Martinsburg dental clinic to open in January

June 25, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. -- On the eve of the second Mission of Mercy (M.O.M.) free dental clinic at Hedgesville High School scheduled for today and Saturday, it was announced the Healthy Smiles Community Oral Health Center will open in January.

The Healthy Smiles Community Oral Health Center's board of directors and United Way of the Eastern Panhandle held a press conference Thursday at the high school before a rally for the M.O.M. volunteers.

Oral surgeon W. Dean Russell, president of Healthy Smiles, said the nonprofit dental center at 214 Warm Springs Ave. in Martinsburg will provide care for underserved adults and children.

It will be operated by Shenandoah Valley Medical System Inc.

If medical care is needed, patients will be referred to Shenandoah Valley Medical System, Administrator Dave Fant said.

Russell said the center has 2,500 feet of space and will start with one dentist and four treatment rooms. As funds become available, it will continue to expand to a second dentist and additional treatment rooms.


Hiring is to begin in September, he said.

A goal of raising $300,000 would accomplish that, Russell said. He said he is hoping to raise $100,000 each year for the next three years.

The fundraising campaign is headed up by Mary Clare Eros, who volunteered to chair the Capital Campaign Committee.

Eros said small donations from people will help to raise funds for the center.

Dental care "is a part of your whole physical health," she said.

Russell will be one of the 800 volunteers who will participate in the Mission of Mercy, said Vicki Shean, director of resource development for United Way of the Eastern Panhandle.

M.O.M. served 1,153 patients last year, but "we turned away hundreds," Shean said.

"It's very rewarding to do M.O.M. and to open the clinic," Russell said. "We saw the need."

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