Salem, July 11th, 2014. Thirty-two Kaiser Permanente providers and staff volunteered at the 2014 Oregon Mission of Mercy, where more than $738,000 worth of donated dental services were provided. The event took place at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, and 1,255 patients received free dental care.
For someone who had just received a couple fillings — and who had been lined up since 3:30 a.m. for a turn in the dentist’s chair — Gregorie “Mike” Towai had an awfully big smile on his face. That’s because, for the first time in a long while, he wasn’t embarrassed by his teeth.
Towai was among the 1,255 patients who received free dental care at the Oregon Dental Association’s fifth annual Mission of Mercy, which took place July 11 and 12 at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Ore. Thirty-two Kaiser Permanente providers and staff volunteered at the event, where more than $738,000 worth of donated services were provided. Kaiser Permanente has had a long volunteer presence at Mission of Mercy, which was held last year in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.
Towai’s new smile came courtesy of Richard Del Togno Armanasco, DMD, a general dentist at the Kaiser Permanente Gresham Dental Office. Dr. Del Togno Armanasco removed the visible decay from Towai’s front teeth and placed natural-looking composite fillings.
“I think this whole thing is awesome,” said Towai. “It’s such a blessing that we have doctors who are willing to give up their time to do this. I think I’ll get to smile more.”
As part of its mission, Kaiser Permanente makes significant contributions to community health, including oral health. Kaiser Permanente Northwest invested more than $104 million in community benefit initiatives in 2013.
Kaiser Permanente has 17 dental offices from Salem to Longview and hosts free dental care days throughout the year. In addition to participating in community events such as Mission of Mercy, Kaiser Permanente hosts “Give Kids a Smile” free dental clinics and participates in the Dental Access Program in the Portland metro area to provide urgent care for low-income, uninsured patients at no charge.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and nonprofit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 9.1 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia, including more than 495,000 people in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.