Friday, October 22, 2010

Local Clinic: Bramption - October 16, 2010

Submitted by Emily Harris, an HMO Volunteer

            On a crisp Autumn Saturday in downtown Brampton, patients and doctors alike shared a memorable day filled with the will to help out and the true spirit of community. Volunteers from all across the GTA, including dentists and hygienists, doctors and ophthalmologists, and even a friendly poodle contributed to the day’s great success.
The Kennedy Tabernacle Church acted as host for the Greater Toronto Outreach Program’s free medical and dental clinic on October 16th, 2010. Around 160 patients came from near and far to get everything from dental check-ups to chiropractic work and eye exams, all free of charge!

I was able to get a feel for this great event and had the chance to speak with some of the people involved.
Now, you may not think that a visit to the dentist would put a smile on many faces, but everyone from the patients sitting in the dental chairs to the volunteers handing out coffee and cookies couldn’t help but grin. As Pastor Ted of the Church commented “It’s great to be able to help people out with no strings attached!”

Touring through the facility, it was truly amazing to see the room packed with dental chairs and tables topped with intricate dental equipment set up and humming with maximum efficiency. Even though some of the younger patients held on tightly to their stuffed animals in the chairs, it was clear that those in need of help were truly appreciative and excited to be able to come. As one nursing volunteer explained, some patients aren’t able to afford the care they need, so it’s amazing when there’s a place to go where they can find help.
            As I walked upstairs to the midwife, chiropractic, and smoking cessation seminar areas, I ran into two young ladies aged 10 and 12 who greeted me with a friendly smile and stopped to chat. When asked why they wanted to get involved and volunteer, they simply replied “It’s fun, you get to meet new people, and it’s a great experience!” These feeling of positivity were echoed amongst everyone in the room.
All the hard work and effort that goes into holding the free clinic was well worth it when seeing what this event means to people in need. HMO will be hosting another clinic in December, at that time it will be held in Mississauga. I was very glad to be a part of this great program, and look forward to next time!

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