US dentists offer free clinics

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 24            June 26, 2003

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Members of the team providing free dental care in Belize

Free dental care is being offered to the general public today (Thursday, June 26th) at the San Pedro Lions Den from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Doctors from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in California are once again visiting Ambergris Caye to provide free dental care to students and residents of the community. The Loma Linda team includes: Dr. David Brodeur (dentist/professor), Dr. Begnio (supervising volunteer), Dr. Cecilia Kao (specialist in child dentistry), along with two senior dental hygiene students and eight senior dental students.

     The doctors and students first visited San Ignacio in the Cayo District for one week before coming to San Pedro. They arrived at New Horizon's Academy on Tuesday, June 24th, where they offered their dental assistance to approximately 120 students and teachers.On Wednesday, June 25th, the group moved to the Lions Den to provide two more days of free dental service for the island community.

     Professor Brodeur explained that school's objective is to, "help the children and adults of San Pedro and San Ignacio who need dental care but do not have the means to pay for it." He stated that the experience also teaches the dental students how very satisfying it is to help people in need. The professor explained that students are graded on their performance as part of their course requirement, in order to graduate.

     Dr. Brodeur commented, "This is the third time that I have brought students to Belize and all of them have enjoyed the country, and its warm and friendly people. We hope to spend the weekend snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, enjoying the beauty of Ambergris Caye."

     The Loma Linda University Alumni Association funds two-thirds of the groups' expenses and the doctors and students finance their own food, lodging, and travel. The volunteers from Loma Linda University have been coming to Belize for the past six years.

    On behalf of the community, Principal Hernandez of New Horizon's Academy would like to thank the students and doctors of Loma Linda University for offering their time and services to the community of San Pedro.
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