This past month, our Teams visited the Thailand and Laos International Outposts to conduct free dental clinics side-by-side with our local teams.
In 2012, Seal Team Two traveled to remote areas in Thailand to establish the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s second International Outpost, where they provided care to over 700 patients, many who have never seen a dentist in their life. The Team partnered with iServe Thailand, and established a relationship that allowed the Smiles for Everyone Foundation to support iServe’s work of providing free dental care to their communities year-round. The iServe Team continued conducting outreaches on an ongoing basis, eventually expanding their work to Cambodia and Laos in 2014.
In March 2019, Smile Brands Inc. affiliated dental providers and support staff joined the Smiles for Everyone Foundation on an International Outpost Trip to Thailand and Laos, where they provided free dental care to over 1,000 individuals in need, setting a record for the largest outreach in the Foundation’s history.
The team, comprised of Smile Brands Inc. employees, includes: Dr. Houssam Alghadban, Periodontist at Monarch Dental® in San Antonio, TX; Dr. Robert Crim, Chief Dental officer at Smile Brands Inc.; April Hirsch, Endodontic Dental Assistant at Monarch Dental in Arlington, TX; Kim Marcus, Senior Vice President of Accounting and Corporate Finance in Irvine, CA; Jacqueline Moore, Hygienist at Bright Now! ® Dental in Burbank, CA; Dr. Neeraj Ravindra Nagella, Ora Surgeon at Monarch Dental in San Antonio, TX; Melissa Patterson, Executive Office Manager at Castle Dental® in Murfreesboro, TN; Dr. Randy Richardson, Lead Dentist at Monarch Dental in Lewisville, TX; Dr. Vidhya Sampath, PC President of Colorado and Lead Dentist at Bright Now! Dental in Parker, CO; Lorilee Schmidt, Chief Operating Officer of PacWest; and Crystal Strait, Executive Director at Smiles for Everyone Foundation.
March 10, 2019
The Team began their journey at the Ma Khun Wan Health Center in Thailand, where they delivered Smiles to over 100 patients despite having very limited supplies due to a complication with TSA.
While at the Ma Khun Wan Health Center, SEAL Team 6 heard that there were many community members who needed dental care but were bedridden and unable to make it out to the clinic. Members of the team gathered supplies and conducted house visits to provide treatment for these individuals.
Other Team members gave a man, restricted to a wheelchair, a ride to the clinic from his home, and carried him up to the steps of the clinic to be seen.
It was an emotionally tolling first day of outreach, but the high spirits of the community left the team eager to serve more people in need the next day!
March 11-12, 2019
SEAL Team 6 traveled up the mountains to conduct outreaches at the Hoay Jakan Border Patrol Police Memorial School. Still faced with the challenges of limited supplies and equipment, the Team forged on, some working out of plastic chairs instead of proper equipment.
After a long and busy first day in the remote town, a group of young boys invited the Team to come visit their village and homes. The Team toured the local village and spent precious time with the children.
In just two days, the Team served over 280 patients, concluding the first half of their trip to Asia!
March 14, 2019
On the first day of outreach in Laos, the Team traveled two hours down a dirt road to reach the Na Charoen Health Center, located in a remote area of Laos. The team was met with a huge crowd of patients waiting to receive much-needed dental care.
Upon arrival, the generators and compressors kept malfunctioning, leaving the Team without power. Soon, a family of missionaries from the U.S. showed up, two of them being engineers. The engineers were eager to assist and rebuilt the equipment for the Team, which was truly a gift from the universe.
Community leaders also attended this clinic as this was the biggest dental team to ever visit the country. This was also the biggest day of outreach in the history of the Foundation, as the team provided care for 274 patients!
March 15-16, 2019
Finally equipped with the supplies brought from the U.S., SEAL Team 6’s last stop was at the Sangthong Hospital in Laos, where they delivered nearly 400 Smiles in just two days.
The team wrapped up the trip by visiting local villages to provide exams and fluoride treatment to children who were unable to attend the clinic, and left Asia with a new Foundation record of providing care for over 1,000 individuals in need during one trip!
Smiles for Everyone Foundation would like to thank Aseptico Inc., Colgate and Henry Schien Cares Foundation, who provided equipment and supplies for this trip. Without the support of all their partners and sponsors, the Foundation would not be able to provide dental care in seven countries and deliver Smiles for Everyone!