April 2018 Dental Mission

Posted by | April 30, 2018 | Mission Work | No Comments

REPORT TO:     BOARD OF DIRECTORS & other interested parties
Re: Mission to St. Pius—Kingston, Jamaica April 23-24-25
From: Roger Plante

This mission was completed on schedule as planned and the missionaries came from various parts of the US to care for patients at the Van Domelen clinic and for the children at St. Peter Claver School.   In addition to working in the clinic and school program, many members of the team visited White Wing Village and were moved by the level of poverty.   They also visited the Mustard Seed facility and observed great care to the residents from their providers. 

As is so often the case with mission work, all was not perfect….and thanks to the experienced, versatile and dedicated missionaries, the issues were surmounted and dealt with.

The team worked long hours, especially on Monday and Tuesday, but they persisted.

This fine team of dental folks included veteran mission team leader Michele LaBasi, RDH from Ohio assisted by the following:
Dr. Kim Burford, Dixon, CA (returning)
Dr. Illeana Ramundo-Townsend, Pembroke Pines, FL (returning)
Mary Rebman, RDH Mt. Sterling, IL
Brittany Collinsworth, RDH Nashville, TN
Felicia Williams, RDH, Atlanta, GA
Ann Weierback, RDH, Denver, CO
Karen Decristofaro, Dental Assistant, Boston, MA (returning)
Sherilyn Glanville, Dental Assistant, Atlanta, GA
Minah Theophilus, Dental Assistant, Fairfield, CA
Zuleika Sanchez, Dental Assistant, San Francisco, CA

We were additionally blessed at this mission to have two students from the College of Oral Health Sciences at the University of Technology, in Kingston participating. Both are near graduation and brought with them hundreds of hours of clinical experience, and they were a tremendous help to the team. This is a relationship I have been working on for quite some time and hopefully something can be developed in the future to foster our mission movement.   The two students are: Ruth-Anne Leveridge and Ajani Blake. We thank them wholeheartedly for their devotion and wish them well with their careers. Hopefully they will return in the not too distant future.

In total, 23 class groups were seen at the St. Peter Claver School.    Anne Weierback, RDH led the team on the first day and Mary Rebman, RDH, Brittani Collinsworth, RDH, Felicia Williams, RDH and Sherilyn Glanville, DA rotated through the three days to educate, screen, and provide a fluoride varnish treatment to 731 children.   All students were given oral health education, received a treatment of fluoride varnish, were examined for dental deficiencies, and handed a “goodie-bag” with tooth brush, paste, floss and a toy.

At the clinic, 119 patients were seen which involved the following number of procedures:
dental hygiene treatments – 57,
sealants – 6,
fillings – 32,
extractions – 39

The numbers are low in comparison to prior missions due to the problems with power coming in to the X-Ray equipment and an overheating problem with some of the equipment….both of which need to be corrected.    As a consequence, some patients needed to be turned away in spite of the additional hours of work provided by the dedicated missionaries.

Michele commented: I’m very proud of the team and how they worked hard to provide the best treatment possible for a population who otherwise would not have had the access or means to receive dental care. They demonstrated flexibility and a spirit of cooperation under tough circumstances. I applaud them for their sacrifice and willingness to serve.


Three of our missionaries (Mary, Brittani and Anne) had the opportunity to visit the Hope Clinic in Montego Bay. They were also able to mingle with locals through the generosity of Deacon Baldwin Powell and the staff of the clinic.

Comments received from missionaries:

 All the patients were VERY thankful we came and I had a few tell me stories of how they have really learned to take care of their oral health better. One lady used to have severe bleeding gums and bone loss. She was able to save her teeth through the efforts of the clinic and her being compliant with home care.

 Some people would wait several hours to be seen but they stayed because they knew there wasn’t another option. I’m thankful we were able to provide wonderful services. Many of the patients were also attending for the first time.

 I love being able to work with the local dental students. They were a great resource to connect the patients to a place that could provide care for a cheaper rate.


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