Sources is celebrating a milestone this year – the tenth anniversary of its volunteer dental clinic.
According to a news release, the clinic – established to assist those who struggle to afford or access dental care – has helped approximately 3,000 people since first opening its doors to the community in Peace Arch Hospital in 2009.
The outreach initiative was kickstarted by retired Semiahmoo Peninsula dentist Ken Stones 11 years ago, after he realized, while volunteering at a similar clinic in Abbotsford, that suitable space to offer the service locally existed in the hospital’s Weatherby Pavilion.
After a year of getting things in order, the clinic treated its first patient in October 2009.
Volunteer dentists can access the clinic three times a week. There are currently eight who do; each is asked to commit to six four-hour shifts a year. Patients, referred through Sources, can access basic dental care, including pain relief, restorations, extractions and cleaning.
Sources estimates the annual cost of operating the clinic at $25,000.
Grants are integral to keeping it going. A pair of them from Semiahmoo Rotary Club – $5,000 each – went a long way in the clinic’s early years, as did a $10,000 donation from Prime Time Living in 2015.
More recently, Peace Arch Hospital Foundation committed to a three-year grant, and funds from the provincial government enabled upgrades to the clinic’s circa-1998 equipment.
The search for ongoing funding continues, the Sources’ news release states. Additionally, after 50 years in dentistry – as well as years of organizing international dental outreach trips – Stones says he is feeling ready to pass the torch on running the clinic.
Anyone interested in getting involved, or wanting to book an appointment, may contact Sources Volunteer Services at 604-542-4357 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit sourcesbc.ca