Mobile dental van will provide service for Plateau needy

Medical Teams International's mobile dental clinic will be stopping monthly in Enumclaw thanks to the generous donations of Mutual of Enumclaw and Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation donors.

“It’s be a huge community collaboration,” said Laurel Bailey.

The Enumclaw Youth and Family Services counselor talking about the mobile dental unit that will roll into Enumclaw April 14 providing free or low-cost dental care for the Plateau’s low-income children, adults, homeless and migrant works who lack insurance or a realistic way to pay for treatment.

Bailey said the dental van was a EYFS wish after the school district nurse reported several requests from parents for dental care.

Dental health, Bailey said, is important to the overall health and well being of a community.

The Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation put it at the top of its priority list. With a $10,000 donation from Mutual of Enumclaw Insurance Group and money raised through donors at the Foundation’s December Holiday Fantasy, the Foundation was able to bring the unit to the community.

The van itself is provided by Medical Teams International, formerly Northwest Medical Teams, a nonprofit, global health organization that empowers communities to live full and healthy lives.

Enumclaw dentist Wendy Walker has volunteered for the April 14 run, seeing patients from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Enumclaw Chamber of Commerce parking lot on Cole Street. One dentist can take eight 45-minute appointments. The dental van is scheduled for the second Thursday of each month. Dentist Scott Decker is scheduled for the May 12 visit with doctors Daniel Ryning and Jason McGonegle also on the list.

“We were looking to expand services,” said Bailey, who will serve as the program’s coordinator and work with Medical Teams International and the Enumclaw Regional Healthcare Foundation. “We were looking for partners in community. We hope to start of great relationship.”

“We really believe it’s a need people will respond to in a big way,” EYFS director Gary Hemminger said, during a meeting with the Foundation board of directors.

According to Bailey, who will oversee the operation for EYFS, the unit is set up initially for urgent care with the vision to expand to preventative care with a hygenist in the future and also expand the service to the Buckley area this summer or fall.

Bailey will provide the screening based on income and need. Anyone interested can call Bailey at 360-615-5653 or 360-825-4586, or drop in at the EYFS office at 1356 Cole St., between 9 a.m and 6 p.m.

Mobile Dental Fast Facts

  • Mobile Dental has provided care for more 176,000 patients since 1989.
  • In 2010, we have provided free dental care to more than 17,000 patients with over 300 partners.
  • Nearly 900 generous volunteer dental professionals provided approximately $7 million worth of free dental care last year.
  • Our fleet of 11 Mobile Dental clinics in Oregon and Washington are 38-foot converted motor homes. Each mobile clinic contains two dental operatories and all necessary equipment, instruments, and supplies.