One of the greatest problems facing dentistry today is access to care. Unfortunately, so many are unable to afford dental care that their oral health is in severe condition. For the Howells and our associates, dentistry extends beyond the walls of each of our location. Community involvement remains vital to the office philosophy, we strive to educate and provide dental care to those in need be it in our practice or in the community at clinics like the Western Tidewater Free Clinic or events such as the Virginia Dental Association's Mission of Mercy projects.
Western Tidewater Free Clinic
The Western Tidewater Free Clinic (WTFC) is located just down the road from our Western Ave location in Downtown Suffolk. WTFC mission is to provide a high standard of care for those in Western Tidewater who are unable to afford medical or dental attention. In order to extend their care to oral health needs, WTFC expanded to include a dental suite. However, without the presence of dentist, their ability to provide care was limited.
Since 2010, Drs. Leroy Howell, Ralph Howell, Jana Boyd, and Marvin Sagun have each committed to volunteering at WTFC. In fact, each Thursday afternoon, one of our doctors is working in the dental suite. Other members of our team that have volunteered at WTFC include Pam Brooks, Janice Novak, and Dani Howell.
WTFC recognized Dr. Ralph Howell for his contributions to the dental suite by naming him Volunteer of the Year in 2011.
Mission of Mercy Projects
Since 2000, the Virginia Dental Association Foundation Mission of Mercy (MOM) Projects have been donating care to the underserved. With project locations varying throughout the state from Wise County to the Eastern Shore to Gloucester to Grundy, according to the VDAF, these projects have provided more than 41,000 patients with free dental care amounting to over $22.4 million.
Both while in dental school and throughout their time in private practice, our doctors have volunteered at MOM projects.
In 2014, Dr. Howell initiated the first Mission of Mercy Project here in Suffolk.