, Newburyport, MA

October 14, 2013

COA's help makes dental program work

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Parker River Dental’s “Giving Back to Our Community” program has successfully reached out to almost three dozen elderly community members since 2011. The program is designed to meet the needs of the local elderly population when they do not have the financial means to afford routine dental care. Our program helps these Massachusetts residents where other insurance plans do not. The program is designed to offer free dental care, twice per year, to elder community members. They receive free dental exams, cleanings, digital X-rays and more.

The assistance of the Town of Newbury’s Council of Aging and Martie S. Joe, director, is instrumental to the success of this program. Martie educates the elders about our program — assuring them that this is not a scam. This wonderful marriage of communication makes the relationship with COA vital to our program’s survival.

We have had generous donations of Philips Sonicare power-brushes and generosity of free flowers from Anastasia Flowers on Main Street (Vivian Anastasia) has made the gift of free dental care even more wonderful at each event. In addition, patients and their guests are greeted with free coffee, tea and treats. An assortment of organic low-calorie pastries donated compliments of Pure Pastry (Kim Gregory). Each patient leaves with a generous assortment of free dental products.

All expenses for products and services are at the generosity of Dr. Robin Davies. The staff volunteers their time twice a year to support this effort in keeping our community healthy. We are in the process of applying for grants to help support our mission.

“Giving Back to Our Community” program is expanding into Newburyport and Georgetown. On Saturday, Oct. 19, Newburyport Family Dental and Georgetown Family Dentistry will also open their doors from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. to promote and provide oral healthcare for their elder community members. Assisted by their local Council on Aging directors, Newburyport and Georgetown elders will receive the gift of a comprehensive dental exam, dental cleaning and digital X-rays. All doctors and staff will be volunteering their time and services to their community.

Our hopes are that other towns and cities will adopt this community action program with the gift of free oral care to their elder community members to improve their health. These doctors are dedicated to educating their community about regular dental care being essential to an individual’s overall health and well-being. “The gateway to a healthy body is a healthy mouth”is not just a catchphrase.

Wendy B. Jackson

Parker River Dental, Newbury