Viola Startzman Free Clinic
The Viola Startzman Free Clinic (VSFC) is celebrating 17 years of serving the medical and dental needs of uninsured, low-income residents of Wayne County, Ohio. Founded in 1995 as a medical clinic, the VSFC began with the intention to offer only emergency extractions for dental patients. However, the team of staff and volunteers soon discovered the tremendous need for more comprehensive dental services in the county, paired with paucity of dental professionals willing to treat this population. In 2007 the VSFC’s administrators, board and dental volunteers seized an opportunity to transform oral health care for Wayne County’s most vulnerable residents. Today this program provides patients with ongoing dental maintenance, rather than care just at the time of an emergency. Clients have more teeth restored to function that previously would have been extracted. Additionally, the attitudes and knowledge of oral hygiene and home care of returning patients have dramatically improved.
VSFC is comprised of a complete dental team offering definitive care in a walk-in and appointment-based setting. Their goal is to provide a comprehensive diagnostic and treatment environment needed to “rebuild” a patient’s smile, an absolute necessity to boost self-confidence and improve overall appearance, while advocating healthier lifestyle choices.
Charity-based dental clinics often evoke images of cast-off antique dental chairs, donated Bakelite tool chests and vintage compressed air drills. The VSFC dental team has collaborated with local practitioners, health departments, and equipment vendors to provide three fully equipped and up-to-date dental operatories, as well as a dental lab for minor prosthetic repairs. It is also outfitted with ultrasonics, Root ZX and Obtura endodontic equipment, electrosurge units, two X-ray units and a Panorex machine. The modern equipment has made possible a full range of free dental treatment, including cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, x-rays, oral cancer examinations, fillings, extractions, and root canals.
The Viola Starzman Free Clinic is located 1874 Cleveland Road, Wooster, OH 44691 for Wayne County residents only, who must be uninsured and have incomes below the 200% of poverty. The VSFC dental clinic offers appointments every Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and every other Friday afternoon, for routine care. Appointments are also available two evenings a month for extraction of unsalvageable teeth. For more information, call (330) 262-2500 or go to http://www.startzmanfreeclinic.org/Services.htm.
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