Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

June 6, 2013

Clinic looks to help with dental care

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — What started as a quest to help one person with dental care looks to be turning into so much more as a Pauls Valley church is set to host a clinic this weekend.

The idea came from Tara Brown’s desire to help one of her clients at Mental Health Services of Southern Oklahoma (MHSSO) located in PV’s downtown area.

It has since led to what could be the first of many free clinics here meant to help low-income folks with the dental related services they need.

“I started looking for something for one of my clients,” Brown said.

“That led to Bill and has turned into so much more,” she said, referring to Bill Sisson.

Sisson is a volunteer coordinating a medical mission that hopes to take free dental care to people in need.

The original intention here was to bring that care to MHSSO clients only. It later revealed even more people were in need of this kind of service.

“I’m excited to be able to make this service available to people who need it,” Sisson said. “This meets a lot of needs.”

All of this actually got its start when the Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship received a $600,000 grant from the Butterfield Memorial Foundation to provide indigent health care in Oklahoma, Sisson said.

Another $100,000 grant allowed for a trailer that’s used to take the dental services on the road and around the state.

“It’s a mobile medical dental facility with a complete dental lab,” Sisson said. “It looks like a U-Haul only it’s 40 feet long.”

After Sisson was first contacted by Brown he then began reaching out to churches in Pauls Valley.

Kenny Kelly at PV’s First Baptist Church jumped on board. The church will be the site of the first clinic on Saturday, June 8, plus it’s donating electric and water services.

As the project began to develop the decision was made to hold the clinic not only for MHSSO clients but the general public.

According to Brown, the demand was so great all openings were soon filled up.

“We’re willing for people to come in and sign up for the next one,” she said. We’ll keep sheets going and have a kind of waiting list.

“This first one will do extractions only. The next time we’ll do some teeth cleanings; maybe get more local dentists involved.”