The Semiahmoo Dental Outreach team (SDO) was formed in 2009 to work with East-Meets-West – EMW (www.eastmeetswest.org) in the Hoi-An region of Vietnam. The team consisted of five dentists, Ken Stones, Les Ennis, Murray Bohn, Lange Soo and Dan Green. There were two hygienists, Deb McDonald and Judy Simonson, and two other helpers, Diana Wegner and Maureen Green.
EMW had set up a dental clinic in a rural elementary school about a half hour drive from our hotel in Hoi An. They had portable equipment in place for 7 work stations, and a well equipped sterilizing area. This was all set up in a large school classroom. We treated over 600 children during our week, none of whom had previously been seen by a dentist.
The work experience was fabulous for all of us. Working with EMW was a wonderful learning opportunity for us, as they had been doing outreach clinics for about 10 years, and had a perfected clinic model in place. SDO has copied many of their ideas and modeled our subsequent clinics after theirs.
What was to be a one-time trip has become the first of many! SDO now does two overseas trips per year, and has treated thousands of children in several developing countries.