VISTA at Metropolitan State University Supports Services Clients Just Can’t Miss
(2013-2014 Year in Review) The VISTA at the Metropolitan State University Dental Clinic’s role in sustaining a student volunteer program really came full circle after one patient made quite a trip to receive crucial dental services. The patient was recruited to receive dental care at Metropolitan State through the Love Grows Here Wellness Center. The Love Grows Here program utilized Advanced Dental Therapy students to provide information about the services at the Metropolitan State Dental Clinic and other low-income dental resources, as well as on-site dental assessments, dental kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss, as well as educational materials on oral hygiene. The patient had previously gone several years without dental treatment and when he first came to the clinic, he only attended because he was having a toothache and had recently been to the local emergency room for the toothache. Throughout his series of appointments, he was given patient education materials that were developed and made available by the VISTA. The patient appreciated the care he received and learned the value of maintaining a healthy mouth, so he walked over 5 miles to his last visit to complete his last fillings. When he called to confirm his last appointment, he stated he did not have enough money for a cab or bus ride to the clinic. Metropolitan State Clinic offered to reschedule the visit and provide bus tokens to the man, but he refused to reschedule. He said it was more important to walk to the clinic to receive needed care than postpone until he could arrange transportation. This man’s effort to attend the clinic demonstrated Metropolitan State’s effectiveness in utilizing student volunteers to educate patients about the importance of maintaining adequate dental health.