Good Samaritan Dental Clinic celebrates 15 years (video)
Skeptics said a dental clinic in Rochester that operated solely with volunteers would not last, but the Good Samaritan Dental Clinic has proven them wrong.
For 15 years volunteer dentists and staff have served the under and uninsured in Rochester with resounding success. Since 2002, more than 21,000 patients have been relieved of tooth pain and other dental problems, thanks to those 150 volunteers.
“Whether it’s once a week, once a month, or several times during the year, we have dedicated volunteers who are very supportive of the clinic,” explained Pam Lawrence, Clinic coordinator.
Before the clinic opened, there were few options for people without private dental insurance. Low reimbursement rates from medical assistance and other state insurance plans made it nearly impossible for dentists to treat those patients, while paying their own staff and overhead.
That’s why three area dentists — Doctors Tom Sitzer, Joe Becker and Joe Gibilisco — decided to join together and create the Good Samaritan Dental Clinic in 2002. A collaboration between them, The Salvation Army, The Mayo Clinic and Construction Partnership made it a reality.
In honor of the 15 year anniversary, the Zumbro Valley Dental Society will present a $1,500 check to Salvation Army Major James Frye and Good Samaritan Dental Clinic Coordinator, Pam Lawrence, on Tuesday, August 1.