Thanks to a partnership of Goodwill Manasota and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM ), veterans and family members were provided with a health screening, a dental exam, free dental hygiene education, and supplies to help them achieve good oral health practices during a recent Veterans Health Fair. Each person met first with a LECOM student for a health overview interview, then had their blood pressure and heart rate checked, and then they received a dental exam, assessment and treatment recommendations. Before leaving, they were also shown the proper technique for brushing and flossing, and given a goodie bag with toothpaste, toothbrush, floss and other dental health products.
This event took place at Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program offices. Numerous LECOM students and volunteers from the community were in attendance to provide medical services; LECOM students offer tens of thousands of hours each year to community service efforts, including providing medical care to underserved populations.
“Data has shown conclusively that too many in our region are not receiving sufficient dental care,” said Shirley Parrado, Director of Outreach of LECOM. “Poor oral health can lead to all sorts of associated health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications and dementia, among others.”
In the coming months, three more dental outreach events will take place at Goodwill’s Arcadia (1701 E Oak St., #B), Corporate Campus (2715 51st Ave. E., Bradenton), and Mecca (5150 N Tamiami Tr., Sarasota) locations; dates TBA. These events will be open to Goodwill employees, shoppers and people who donate goods as well as those benefiting from Goodwill’s programs and services.
“We are thrilled to be working with LECOM to help provide dental care at Goodwill locations,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services for Goodwill. “Not only will this be of great benefit to our own team members but it will also help others in our community who may not have sufficient access to care. If we can help prevent or catch an oral health issue early for even one community member, then this effort will have been worthwhile.”
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 41 million pounds out of the landfill. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) is the nation’s largest medical college and, with Millcreek Community Hospital and the clinical practices of Medical Associates, forms America’s only osteopathic Academic Health Center. LECOM has seen the continued need for dentists across the nation, including Florida. It has been shown that early dental health treatment carries over into better adult health, including lower cardiac disease risk. To help alleviate that shortage, LECOM has brought much-needed dental health care to Bradenton where third-year dental students will train alongside licensed dentists. The presence of the dental office will improve the oral health status of the community by providing comprehensive care and general dentistry for all ages. LECOM’s dental office is located at 4800 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Bradenton. For more information, visit www.lecom.edu.