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The East Side Dental Clinic, a service of the not-for-profit Vancouver Native Health Society, is at the Pacific Dental Conference looking for volunteer dental professionals to help staff its three operatory rooms. (Photo: VNHS)
Mar 15, 2016 | News Canada

Vancouver’s East Side Dental Clinic needs a few good volunteers

by Robert Selleck, Dental Tribune Canada

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada: A first-time exhibitor at the Pacific Dental Conference, the Vancouver Native Health Society is at the conference for one simple reason: It’s where the dentists are. The clinic needs to find a few more dental professionals to volunteer at its East Side Dental Clinic in Vancouver.

And if you’re looking for dental professionals in Vancouver, there’s only one place to be from March 17 to 19: at the Pacific Dental Conference, where more than 12,500 dentists, hygienists, assistants and other dental professionals from across North America gather to learn about the latest advancements in patient care and dental-practice operations.

The East Side Clinic is within a 30-minute walk of the Vancouver Convention Centre, host site of the conference. But on March 17 and 18, the clinic has a satellite presence in the Pacific Dental Conference exhibit hall, with a “recruiting office” set up in its booth.

“The idea of us being at the PDC is to find some more volunteers for our offices — dentists, hygienists, certified dental assistants and others,” said Dr. Lex Vides, VNHS dental clinic manager.

The clinic is looking for dental professionals who are ready to support the clinic’s mission to “improve and promote the health of individuals — with a focus on the Aboriginal community residing in Greater Vancouver.”

The 20-year-old organization delivers a variety of programs and services touching on all aspects of maintaining good health. One of the core services supporting the society’s mission is the downtown-Vancouver, storefront dental clinic at 455 Hastings St.

Staffed by volunteers, the dental clinic is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, with some afternoon hours if requested by the volunteers. The clinic is considered a crucial service for people who would otherwise live with chronic and acute pain due to unresolved dental issues. It’s the Lower Mainland’s only not-for-profit clinic with three operatory rooms.

The organization views its charitable dental clinic as “a compassionate response to inequality and despair,” and the clinic’s work is considered critical to the society’s larger purpose: “to improve and promote the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of individuals.”

The organization provides medical care, counselling and social services. Many of its clients face overlapping and oftentimes interrelated challenges, including substance abuse, mental health issues, chronic disease, homelessness and poverty.

VNHS was honored as a Charity Intelligence “Top Pick” for charities/donations for 2012. You also learn more online at www.vnhs.net.



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