Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First Dental Clinic - EVER!

It's official: His Hands now offers dental services!

On February 24, Dr. Akey (His Hands Dental Director) saw our first patient ever. (See above picture.) That day, he assisted 4 dental patients - and His Hands offered approximately $850 of services absolutely free of charge.

Praise God!

Michelle Retter (Dental Coordinator) and I taught a Sunday School class last Sunday (Feb. 26) about the need for dental in our community and country, and some of the statistics really surprised me. Did you know that 23% of adults in our country have untreated tooth decay? Tooth decay leads to abscesses (which bacterial infections in the center of the tooth), which are very painful. So, to extrapolate, 23% of adults in the US are either in extreme tooth pain or are headed for it. Wow!

And here's another not-so-surprising stat: 4 out of 10 hiring managers admit that a job candidate's bad teeth would influence their hiring decision. That's 40% of employers - and those are just the ones that admit it.

Bad teeth affect a person's health, job, and employment future. It's an area that desperately needs to be addressed.

In the grand scheme of things, our little clinic doesn't seem like much. But to the 4 people who got assistance last week, it meant a great deal. In our little corner of the world, we are doing what we can to help.

Please continue to pray for us: that we schedule the right patients, that we get the volunteers we need, that we find a steady funding stream for dental, and that the scheduled patients actually show up.

And.... if you're in the area, stop by! The clinic looks terrific.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dental starts next Friday!

"It's awesome!" That's what I heard Dr. Akey, Dental Director at His Hands, say when he came to do a walk-through with our new dental equipment. And he's right: it IS awesome!

Dr. Akey and our Dental Coordinator, Michelle, (both pictured above) have been hard at work to get everything ready to see patients. We are still waiting on one more letter of approval, and then we are good to go.

God has really confirmed this decision to start dental. At the beginning of January, we sent letters to area dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, asking for volunteers. To date, we have heard back from 7 dentists and 1 oral surgeon, 8 hygienists, and 11 dental assistants. Wow!

Please keep this new ministry in your prayers. There are so many patients that need dental assistance - pray that God will lead us to the people that need the help most. Pray that we would find the volunteers that we need for the dental clinic, and that they would come when they are scheduled. Pray that we will offer the services that people need most, and that we will structure our program in the way that serves God - and our patients - best. And continue to pray for funding! Dental is an expensive undertaking.

Feel free to stop by see our new space!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Income Divide in Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Help Restore Fairness to the U.S. Health System - The Commonwealth Fund

Note: We are NOT wading into the debate about healthcare reform. But this article has some great statistics about the relationship between income and access to healthcare. (Did you know that 22% of adults with higher incomes (just under 400 percent of poverty, or $89,400 for a family of four) are uninsured???)

Obviously the article has a political slant, but it still contains some interesting stats for free clinics. Check it out:

The Income Divide in Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act Will Help Restore Fairness to the U.S. Health System - The Commonwealth Fund