People who helped get Cranbrook’s first free dental clinic off the ground cut the ribbon to officially open Mouth Minders Dental Clinic at the Salvation Army on Friday

People who helped get Cranbrook’s first free dental clinic off the ground cut the ribbon to officially open Mouth Minders Dental Clinic at the Salvation Army on Friday

Dental clinic given grand opening Friday

Salvation Army cuts the ribbon on its free, volunteer-run dental clinic in Cranbrook

A gathering at the Cranbrook Salvation Army centre on Friday, Nov. 15 celebrated the grand opening of the Mouth Minders free dental clinic.

The clinic, which began seeing patients last month, is the first dental clinic owned by the Salvation Army in Canada.

Captain Kirk Green told the gathered crowd that the idea came from Interior Health community dental hygienist Nancy Savarie, who approached Green about opening a clinic in the yet-to-be-funded homeless shelter. Instead, Green decided to start the clinic right away in the existing facility.

“The Salvation Army said it had been tried before in numerous places and it never works,” said Cpt. Green. “But it sailed through the approval process without question, complaint or concern. We sent it, they stamped it, and Cranbrook has the first ever Salvation Army owned and operated dental clinic in the country.”

Dentist Astarte soon came on board to volunteer her time seeing patients. She is grateful for the role the Salvation Army plays in the clinic.

“They have taken on the role of housing and offering administration skills for the clinic so that dental personnel can just come in and do the dentistry,” she said.

Since the clinic opened last month, it has operated for a total of 16 hours over four sessions. In that time, 24 patients have been treated, with another 36 on the waiting list.

“This effort by the Salvation Army and local dentists really enriches the community we live in,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett at the grand opening. “I am here to offer my continuing support for the Salvation Army for this project and their bigger project,” he added, referring to the proposal for a homeless shelter facility that awaits provincial funding.

The Mouth Minders dental clinic was funded $16,500 from Columbia Basin Trust for start-up cost. Pacific Blue Cross provided a $5,000 donation. Retiring Cranbrook dentist Dr. Tim Comishin donated all of his dental equipment. Patterson Dental assisted with turning a former Sunday School room at the Salvation Army into the clinic. A1 Countertops provided goods free of charge.

“This is a major step forward to help people in Cranbrook who really need it,” said Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski.

The B.C. Government Employees Union donated $1,200 to the clinic on Friday, presented by Nancy Savarie who first approached the Salvation Army about opening a free clinic.

Another two dentists are preparing to join Astarte at Mount Minders. Dr. Matthew Choi and Dr. Imre Rokus will also volunteer their time to operate the clinic on longer hours.

People who think they might benefit from the clinic’s services can call the Salvation Army at 250-426-3612.

Just Posted

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Most Read