CARNEGIE, Pa., March 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of patients and one year later, The Salvation Army Oil City Dental Center has changed many lives in greater Venango County. The lack of good quality dental care for moderate and low income rural families has reached critical mass and the organization, along with a host of supporters, decided to do something about it. "It was time for us to step up to the plate and do something for the community," said Emilee S. Langer, MPH, Administrative Director. "The opening of The Salvation Army Oil City Dental Center was just such a step. This facility was long in the making and our area families rely heavily on us. In just one year, more than 1,900 patients have made over 5,000 visits. The response wildly exceeded our anticipated goals."
The success of the center was made possible through the recruitment of a dedicated professional staff, Dr. Jim Mancini, a private dentist from Pittsburgh with more than 25 years of experience and Dr. Douglas Hutchinson, an Oil City native and recent graduate of the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine and of St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Youngstown Ohio. These clinicians joined the practice in 2010 and quickly proved their capabilities both as dental practitioners and patient advocates. Dr. Bartley J. Morrow, private practitioner and clinical associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine and member of the Venango County Dental Task Force, provides clinical oversight for the center. The collaborative nature of the dental team aids in patient diagnostics and the establishment of a "Best Practice" approach to quality dentistry. "We review a sampling of completed treatment plans quarterly to ensure consistent care for our patients and their families," said Langer. In addition to dentistry, full time staff includes two dental assistants, two dental hygienists and administrative personnel. Langer stated, "We are blessed with a knowledgeable and dedicated workforce."
Community outreach and education is a critical component of the Oil City Dental Center. Recently, more than 100 adults and children gathered for Give Kids a Smile day at the facility. The annual event included games and crafts, preventive education in oral health, personal safety and HIV awareness and dental services for 71 children from Venango County. This collaborative program was made possible through the generous support of corporate sponsors, Henry Schein Dental and the Highmark Foundation. In addition, more than 30 adult volunteers from area agencies including Venango County Early Head Start, Child Care Information Services, The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Northwest Aid Alliance, Child Development Centers, The Oil City YMCA Daycare, Oil City School District, Tri-State Business Institute – Dental Hygiene program, the University of Pittsburgh-School of Dental Medicine. The Salvation Army Oil City Worship and Service Center provided games, crafts and education. Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Carrico served as honorary chairpersons.
The Salvation Army Dental Center is conveniently located near The Salvation Army's Oil City Worship and Service Center, adjacent to a public transportation bus line. State-of-the-art comprehensive dental health care provided at the Center includes preventive and diagnostic care, fillings, root canals, extractions, dentures and emergency assistance for alleviating pain, disfigurement and infection. Patients of all ages are provided education about nutrition, smoking cessation and dental hygiene through literature, and hands on instruction from the center's dental hygienists. Additionally, the Dental Health Task Force provides outreach and support in the areas of preventive education for school and community based programs.
The Highmark Foundation has played a pivotal role in providing crucial financial support. Other generous supporters include: Dr. and Mrs. Arthur William Phillips Charitable Trust; the Buncher Family Foundation; March of Dimes; Pennsylvania Department of Health-Community Primary Challenge Grant; Jessie L. Peters Charitable Lead Annuity Trust; Galena Rew Harrington and Mary E. Rew Fund of the Venango County Community Foundation; the Samuel Justus Charitable Trust, Edith C. Justus Charitable Trust and the Elizabeth S. Black Charitable Trust.
Both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 123 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, log onto www.salvationarmy-wpa.org. The Salvation Army … doing the most good for the most people in the most need.
SOURCE The Salvation Army