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Posted on November 6, 2012 | 7:25 p.m.

Over 150 Turn Out for Clinics’ Free Dental Care Day

Source: Coleen McBride for the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics

Last Saturday, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics held their second free dental care day of this year, providing dental services free of charge to the Santa Barbara community.

The event was sponsored in part by the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara Sunrise and the Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation.

More than 150 people were lined up around the block outside SBNC’s Eastside Family Dental Clinic by 5 a.m. when clinic staff arrived, and 97 patients were given X-rays and exams and 78 of those patients received treatment. Those who couldn’t be seen were given vouchers for free X-rays and exams for a later date, by appointment.

“Since the elimination of all adult Medi-Cal benefits in 2009, there are few dental providers except the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics for dental needs of low-income adult patients,” Clinic Manager Susann Casort said.

Thirty-six volunteers were on hand to help coordinate the crowd and provide assistance throughout the day, including volunteers from Santa Barbara Rotary Club Sunrise, Promotores volunteers from the Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Dental Care Foundation and SBNC volunteers.

Sixteen dentists and specialists donated their talent and skills from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, providing their expertise to those in need of dental services. In total, 52 volunteers helped make this day possible for the community of Santa Barbara.

“It was quite a show of charitable force,” said Dr. Quyun Nguyen, SBNC’s chief dental officer.

The physicians who donated their services from Santa Barbara County are: Dr. Robert Berkenmeier, G.P.; Dr. Silvia Ericson, G.P.; Dr. John Grube. G.P.; Dr. Justina Pham, G.P.; Dr. Janice Sugiyama, G.P.; Dr. Brett Grube, D.D.S., orthodontist; Dr. Lawrence Westbury, D.D.S., periodontist; Dr. Mark Bienstock, D.D.S., oral surgeon; Dr. David Hall, D.D.S., oral surgeon; Dr. Eric Wallace, D.D.S., oral surgeon.

From Ventura County: Dr. Betty Layne, D.D.S.; Dr. Safa Maiwand, G.P. and SBNC Clinician’s; Dr. Christina Mendoza, D.D.S., Resident; Dr. Kevin Miller, D.D.S.; Dr. Quyun Nguyen, D.D.S., chief dental officer; Dr. Vu Le, D.D.S.

The mission of Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics is to provide high quality, affordable, comprehensive health care to all people regardless of their ability to pay, especially those uninsured and otherwise underserved, while maintaining a welcoming environment and treating patients with compassion, dignity and respect.

— Coleen McBride is a development associate for the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.

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