Dental Assisting graduates from Red River College’s Winkler Campus are gearing up for a summer trip to Guatemala, where they’ll provide free clinical care for local residents in five different locations.
As part of their fifth annual summer mission to the region, five recent RRC grads (now registered dental assistants), as well as a dentist, a dental therapist, and a dental instructor from the College, will provide free dental care to approximately 2,540 Guatemalans — double the number they provided care for during their last trip in 2012.
This year’s team will spend a day and a half attending to locals at San Marcos Church, before travelling to Nuevo Chuatuj, La Felicidad and San Martin Chile Verde in subsequent days. The trip takes place June 30 to July 10; students have been fundraising for months to offset their travel costs.
“Past team members have personally gained a lot from their experiences, and feel blessed by having worked with the people they encountered,” says Athena Wilford, Dental Assisting Coordinator at Winkler Campus. “In spite of poverty and meagre living conditions, the people we met were very gracious.”
Last year, graduates travelled to seven different sites, where they worked alongside medical and pharmaceutical teams Minnesota and North Dakota. The 2012 team also included Steinbach dentist Dr. J. Koepke and students from the Guatemala University Dental School; members first travelled to San Marcos Church in Quetzaltengo, then held their remaining six clinical sessions within the municipality of Coatepeque.
This year’s team will be comprised of Dental Assisting graduates Chelsea Bezditny, Katelyn Bezditny, Lee-Anne Sabourin, Jillian O’Donnell and Katharine Seibel, as well as Wilford (also a Dental Assisting instructor), dentist Dr. Andrew Cheng, and North Dakota State Medical Officer Dr. John Baird.
Click here for more information about the Dental Assisting — Level II program at RRC’s Winkler Campus.