Meet Global Dental Relief’s non-dental volunteers


Every Nepal Volunteers+Kids 01linic works because non-dental volunteers join the team and devote their talents to keep the clinic functioning.

In Nepal, Karen Emerson, a nurse in real life in New York, works non-stop sterilizing and restocking the dental instruments – an orchestrated task that takes a fine sense of timing.

Theresa Tran, a hygienist Nepal Karen Emerson 01from Denver, signed up for the trip after all the dental slots were filled. But she came anyway, and loves pitching in on the non-dental side helping with the sterilizing and giving a fluoride treatment to the 1000 plus kids passing through the clinic – -that’s a lot of fluoride!

Carole Witka, a retired administrator from Denver keeps the patient records – carefully noting the work done on each child and keeping charts organized for future visits. Record keeping is critical – consistent charts mean we can MCM 2014_10 GDR Nepal Carole Witka 04track each child over the years to monitor and enhance their oral health.

Joanne Ditmer, a Denver Post columnist, checks each child out of clinic – making sure they get all their work done for the day and overseeing the important moment when each child carefully selects a colorful sticker to take home. Joanne distributes scarves donated by Knitting4Peace. These are carefully awarded to children who had extractions or seem particularly in need of a special treat.

And finally, Michael Maher joins the team as our official photographer. Michael spends his days taking the amazing photos shown throughout GDR’s publication. He helps us tell our story and inspire new volunteers to join this work. Thanks Michael!

Non-dental volunteers provide essential work in each Global Dental Relief clinic yet many people think they need a dental skill to join our teams. “You do not have to be a dentist to volunteer.”

As Karen,Theresa, Joanne and Carole will attest – – while the dentists and hygienists are working head down at the dental chair, non-dental volunteers have the special task of interacting with each child – teaching them brushing, caring for their anxieties and sharing in those special moments when two cultures meet in the smile of a healthy child.

Global Dental is always in need of more volunteers! Come join us for the experience of a lifetime helping kids.

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