Monday, January 10, 2011

Local Clinic - Mississauga Dec. 4th, 2010

Emily Harris

The spirit of the holidays can be found in many different places. We see it when the first few snowflakes of the season arrive and while driving through brightly decorated neighbourhoods around town. This year, however, the true spirit of the season was found at the Westside Presbyterian Church in Mississauga. This is where the Health Mission Outreach held its Free Medical and Dental Clinic. On December 4th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., volunteers, medical personnel, and patients gathered together to enjoy a day of helping a community in need.

Walking around the clinic, the first friendly faces I saw belonged to the Triage Team. They were a group of registered nurses who had arrived bright and early to get over 100 patients ready for their various health checkups today. At zero cost to the patient, this particular clinic offered the services of dentists and dental assistants, family doctors, acupuncturists, chiropodists, opticians, chiropractors and a pharmacist that answered drug-related medical questions. With a talented team like that, the day was bound to be a great success!

Amidst the laughing kids and the young volunteers sporting Santa hats, I was greeted by Philip, the Pastor at Westside Presbyterian. He told me he was absolutely “blown away by the dedication and heart” that he saw at the clinic. Through a beaming smile, he affirmed that the community getting together like this for such a great cause was “a beautiful thing!”
One of the highlights for such a cold December day was the refreshment area. This is where patients and volunteers alike could share a hot cup of tea and some treats to go with it. It was quite a popular spot!
I also got the chance to speak with a dental team during a rare moment of respite while waiting for their next ‘customer’. A dental student from Everest College told me that she got involved because of her teacher. Today was her first time with the HMO and she told me it would definitely not be her last, she hoped there would be even more volunteers from her class the next time around.
While in line for their checkups, I spoke with a mom and her four children who were sitting and waiting patiently. She told me her sister-in-law introduced the HMO clinic to her and she agreed that it was going very well so far. Her daughters were raring to go and weren’t shy about telling me that they were sure they didn’t have any cavities!

The Mississauga clinic was another great experience that I feel lucky to have witnessed. Whenever I get to attend an HMO event, I know it will be filled with dedication, good works, and plenty of smiles. Especially around the holiday season, it’s great to know we have such wonderful people who create a place of giving and sharing where everyone is welcome.

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