Planting, Nurturing and Tending the Garden of Outreach

 

HOW IT BEGAN

During the Foundation’s exploration stage of its new mission, vision and values in 2015, the board formed a Resident Expert Advisory Council known as REACH. This council consists of 10 endodontic residents who serve as advisors to the Foundation. It was through discussions with REACH members that the seed for the Outreach program was planted. The residents expressed the desire and need for meaningful opportunities to provide care, gain unique experience and share the impact of endodontic treatment.

In late 2016, the Foundation officially expanded its mission to include access to care and public awareness. This addition to the mission allowed the organization to broaden its reach and begin the development of a permanent outreach program.

HOW IT HAS DEVELOPED

March 2016 marked the launch of the Foundation’s new international outreach program in partnership with the Helping Hand Clinic in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. The dental clinic was established by the Christian Dental Society, which welcomed Foundation volunteers with open arms and has provided a great deal of support and inclusiveness. With a small kit of donated equipment and no microscope, the first group of Foundation volunteers set out to serve those in need. This was the first time in the clinic’s 20-year history that an endodontic team provided care. The volunteers shared their rewarding experiences of providing patient care to the population in Treasure Beach and expressed the benefit and importance of their opportunity to provide endodontic exposure to a large group of dental students.

The success of the new outreach initiative convinced the board that outreach should be a Foundation priority. It became clear that partnering with another organization to build out a full kit of endodontic supplies and equipment was the next step in growing the international outreach program to its full potential. In 2017 Henry Schein Cares Foundation agreed to donate $100,000 of support to the program. Each year for five years, the Henry Schein Cares Foundation will provide $12,000 in monetary support and $8,000 in donated equipment. The team in Jamaica for the July 9 – 15, 2017 trip was the first to utilize the in-kind equipment donation.

2017 marked the first full year of trips for the Foundation for Endodontics and Henry Schein Cares Foundation Outreach Program. Since the Program’s beginning in 2016, six mentors and 12 residents from 11 different post-graduate programs have performed 220 root canal treatments. Our list of volunteers continues to grow with more opportunities in the future!

Along with the Henry Schein Cares Foundation partnership, the Foundation for Endodontics received a generous donation of a loaned microscope from Seiler Instruments and Mfg., Co. for each outreach trip to Jamaica since October 2016. The loan of the microscope has allowed each team of volunteers to increase their standard of care exponentially.

HOW IT WILL GROW

The Foundation’s international outreach program in Jamaica has garnered an impressive amount of interest over the past year. It has always been a goal of the new outreach initiative to involve as many interested parties as possible and to reach new audiences. The Foundation is excited to share the upcoming development and introduction of a domestic outreach program (Outreach USA).