In areas with limited or no access to health care, how can you help health happen beyond your two-week travels? How do you make a difference over an extended period of time?
In order to give themselves the chance to follow up with patients and instill habits for overall health, many health care professionals will repeatedly provide treatment, supplies, and education to an at-risk community for many years. Dr. Stephen Humbert, a dentist from Minnesota, travels to Guatemala four to six times a year.
Working with an organization called Common Hope, Dr. Humbert is able to contribute to an even greater cause: Empowering a community to rise out of poverty.
The non-profit describes their mission as:
“Common Hope promotes hope and opportunity in Guatemala, partnering with children, families, and communities who want to participate in a process of development to improve their lives through education, health care, and housing.”
Through the organization, health care professionals like Dr. Humbert contribute to children’s health and give them the chance to focus on their education and their future.
By relieving children of dental pain, Dr. Humbert is providing more than an immediate solution to a problem; he is giving those children one less thing to worry about, and one more step towards a healthy life.
Dr. Humbert talks about his experience below.
Through Common Hope, I travel to Guatemala four to six times each year to provide dental care to patients in need.
To extend the reach of our care, I frequently invite senior dental and dental hygiene students to accompany me on these trips and aid their studies.
During our visit in March, we saw about 250 patients, and in May, we saw about 175. The primary focus was on hygiene, though we also provided preventive procedures, restorative, endo, extractions and even some fixed pros.
These procedures relieve children of distracting dental pain, prepare them for a lifetime of good oral health, and ultimately aid their overall health so they can focus on their lives and livelihood.
We are proud of what we are able to accomplish during the the two-week visits that we have to help our patients in Guatemala.
We thank the Henry Schein Cares Foundation for giving us all of the help and support we need. The donations we have received are being put to good use.
We are very grateful for the international experience that is given to us and enjoy helping each and every one of our patients. We look forward to making our way back to Guatemala soon!
By Stephen Humbert, DDS
Dr. Humbert was supported by Henry Schein Cares Foundation’s Health Kit Outreach program.