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Kool Smiles Doctors Partner with CHOICE Humanitarian to Provide Needed Dental Care in Remote Peruvian Village

Oct 06, 2016

Three Kool Smiles dentists will join a team of doctors from CHOICE Peru this Oct. 15-22, 2016 to provide needed dental care for children and families in a remote village located in the Altiplano District of Frias, Piura, Peru.  The partnership is part of Kool Smiles’ new global initiative, Kool Smiles Giving Back, which seeks to bring quality, compassionate dental care and education to underserved communities both here in the United States and abroad. 

Kool Smiles dentists Leonard Johnson, DDS, from Forest Park, Georgia, Joanne Tsagas, DDS, from Roxbury, Massachusetts, and Tiffany Nightengale, DDS, from Hampton, Virginia, will participate in the CHOICE Humanitarian mission trip to Peru, where they will be providing dental services and education in a village that has extremely limited access to medical and dental care. Many of the children and families in the village have never been to a dentist and live without access to basic dental supplies like toothbrushes and toothpaste.    

Drs. Johnson, Tsagas and Nightengale will provide dental examinations, extractions, restorative procedures and cleanings in the local village in addition to working on several service projects. The dentists will also be distributing dental health kits containing toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss, as well as Spanish-language dental health education materials to members of the local community.   

“One of the reasons I became a dentist was to help people, do something positive and give back to my community,” said Dr. Johnson. “I’m excited about this chance to contribute to something bigger than myself, and to understand how my role as a healthcare provider can translate abroad.” 

“Community for me is not just our immediate community, but our worldwide community as well. I feel very blessed that I was able to become a dentist and do what I love,” said Dr. Tsagas. “Having grown up in Boston, it has been such a great reward for me to be able to work for Kool Smiles in Roxbury for more than nine years and to give back to my immediate community – a community that has supported me, raised me, and educated me. Now I would like to pay it forward by helping other communities in need.”

“One of the reasons Kool Smiles is a perfect fit for me was that I love working with kids and giving back to underserved populations” said Dr. Nightengale. “That is why I am so grateful to be given this opportunity to do something I love abroad and make a difference by providing and bringing healthier smiles to children and their families in need.”

CHOICE Humanitarian is an international development organization that focuses on eliminating extreme poverty using their model of leadership development at the district and village level.  The organization’s goal is to end extreme poverty in the areas they serve, through organizing, mobilizing and institution building. 

“We are excited to work with Kool Smiles to bring needed dental care and resources to this community,” said Jordan Menzel, Expedition Director for Choice Humanitarian. “The dental care needs of the villagers are significant, so it will be wonderful to have a dedicated dental team there to provide emergency care and provide education and tools that will make a lasting impact.” 

The Kool Doctors Giving Back program is sponsored by the Benevis Foundation.  For more information about the Peru mission trip with CHOICE Humanitarian, please visit www.koolsmilesjobs.com/ksgivesback

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About Kool Smiles

Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles' mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit www.mykoolsmiles.com.

About the Benevis Foundation

The Benevis Foundation is committed to improving dental care access and outcomes for underserved communities in the United States through research, education and outreach. The foundation sponsors ongoing research on the role of Medicaid dental providers in improving access to preventative care, early intervention, and dental health education among traditionally underserved pediatric populations, as well as research on the cost savings associated with improving access to dental care among these patient populations in both federal and state healthcare systems. Through these research efforts, the Benevis Foundation hopes to provide data that informs and strengthens public policy related to dental access and affordability. For more information, visit http://benevis.com/benevis-foundation/

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