The sight of the mobile dental van in the parking lot behind the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center yesterday prompted us to check in with Laurel Bailey, the director of the Mobile Dental Program in Enumclaw and Buckley to see how the program was going.
Bailey said she wanted to be able to call out and thank a number of local businesses who have been sponsoring the dentists for volunteering their time with the van. They include:
"Sponsorship is really an important component to this community project because the dentists lose money everyday that they close their office doors to volunteer their time," she wrote to Patch. "We can't have a dental program without them doing this! These incentives from local businesses help us truly appreciate the service that our dentists are providing by giving something back to them."
The van clinic has been operating once a month -- every second Thursday -- in . The Buckley clinic was scheduled to start this past summer but recruitment of dentists for that location has been a slow process.
"Buckley is on the schedule for every second Wednesday of the month and we will began as soon as we have dentists to commit to a month," she said.
At both locations, appointment are booked solid with more than 150 people on the waiting list, and it's difficult to guess when someone on the list might be seen thought a very rough estimate would be summer of 2012.
Several factors create this uncertainty, she said:
- The clinic sees a patient each month until all of their urgent care needs are met. A new patient can't move into their slot until the urgent care treatment is complete.
- The clinic sees 10 to 14 patients each month -- just in the Enumclaw location. That number would double with the Buckley location.
- The clinic has not yet been able to get regular commitment from local dentists (in Black Diamond, Enumclaw, Buckley and Bonney Lake), so the regularity of service is uncertain.
Nonetheless, what time local dentists have been able to give has been greatly appreciated. "It is one thing for people to give money, but to give so selflessly of their time speaks volumes," she said.
To date, the Enumclaw clinic has benefitted from the time of:
- Dr. Wendy Walker
- Dr. Scott Decker
- Dr. Neil Bergstrom
- Dr. James Johnson
- Dr. Kim Anardi of Auburn
- Dr. Daniel Ryning and Dr. Jason McGonegle
The clinic is to work either location in December, she said.
For interested dentists and patients alike who would like to sign up on the waiting list, call Bailey at 360-825-4586 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.