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Mercy Clinic Operates with Foundation Support & Volunteerism 

Mercy Clinic Operates with Foundation Support & Volunteerism 

Spotlight on Dr. Francisco Nieves 

Dr. Francisco Nieves started volunteering at Mercy Clinic at the invitation of a classmate from dental school whose former practice owner had been a volunteer at the clinic.   

Dr. Nieves grew up on the south side of Fort Worth, a mostly Hispanic area which he describes as having “so many people who don’t have access to care or funds, they’re working three jobs and they can’t find a clinic that will see them at nighttime. Life happens and they’re spending all their money on their family and can’t take care of themselves.  Anything we can do to help them out, a cleaning or an extraction or a root canal means money they can use to pay the rent.” 

“That could really impact the patient’s ability to get a job,” he said. “I don’t just do root canals there, occasionally we’ll extract teeth, do an overall comprehensive exam or an oral cancer screening, I do whatever we can for the time they’re there.” 

“Our patients are mostly undocumented,” says Peggy Leitch, RN, Mercy Clinic’s executive director. “They’ve never been to a dentist in their life.  The idea is to see as many people as we can.”  

“It’s been harder adapting to what COVID brought upon us, needing more PPE and more paid staff,” Leitch added. Foundations have stepped up a great deal to help maintain operations.” 

Mercy Clinic, established in 2011, provides medical and dental services to the uninsured and impoverished residents of inner-city Fort Worth, serving areas with among the lowest life expectancies in the state of Texas.  All medical and dental providers are volunteers. The two-chair dental clinic offers oral health examinations, digital radiography (including panoramic), dental prophylaxis, restorative dentistry, endodontics, and oral surgery. There are 10 general dentists, two endodontists and a periodontist on the dental team roster, along with an on-site pharmacy. 

The Foundation’s funding support for endodontic materials and supplies has been especially critical to nonprofits as the battle against COVID wages on and precious charitable dollars need to be reallocated to maintain operations. 

Read more about Mercy Clinic, Ft. Worth, TX on page 10, in the Foundation’s FOCUS online publication:  

“Anything we can do to help them out, a cleaning or an extraction or a root canal means money they can use to pay the rent.” – Dr. Nieves

Mercy Clinic, Fort Worth TX: Foundation for Endodontics US Access to Care 2022 from Foundation for Endodontics on Vimeo.