Mission of Mercy dental clinic this weekend

April Coble
Staff Writer

It is no closely held secret that dental care can be expensive. Checkups, preventative care, cleanings, and sometimes more extensive care to help individuals have a healthy smile can be more costly than many families can afford.

There's no need to despair when it comes to making sure everyone can get much needed dental care to prolong the pearly whites with an upcoming event in Woodward. If an individual is in need of assistance, there are people who can help.

This Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4, Mission of Mercy will be running all day on both dates to help those most in need of treatment. With that in mind, the Panhandle Counseling and Health Center (PCHC) has taken the lead in the community to help Texas County residents and those from surrounding areas get to Woodward.

Dr. Darryl Gibson, who has been working with PCHC, has performed dental screenings for over 1,000 children in local schools for needed dental services. Out of those children, 288 have been identified as needing immediate dental care. 60 families have agreed to attend the Mission of Mercy. The clinic has worked with Guymon Public Schools and local churches to provide transportation to the clinic, ensuring those who would otherwise not be able to make the trip to Woodward for lack of funds or a car are still able to make it to the event.

"Panhandle Counseling and Health Center is so excited to get to participate in this year's Mission of Mercy event," PCHC CEO Sarah Wagner said. "We know access to dental services continues to be a great need in our area and we are grateful for the opportunity to get members of our community to this event to receive services."

Currently, transportation is completely full for Friday's clinic, but space for a ride to the Saturday clinic is still available. In order to ensure a seat on the way to Mission of Mercy, those seeking to avail themselves of the community service must make a call to PCHC at (580)338-0072. Buses will load up and roll out at 11:30 p.m. on Friday night for the Saturday clinic in order to ensure those seeking services arrive by 3 a.m., when registration starts. Dentists will begin work at 5 a.m. Saturday, and work throughout the day.

Mission of Mercy requires no proof of insurance, proof of income or identification. The clinic is on a first come, first served basis.

Panhandle Counseling and Health Clinic is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) serving residents in Texas County and the surrounding areas. PCHC serves individuals with or without insurance, and has sliding scale payment to assist those with lower incomes. For more information or to set up an appointment, call (580)338-0072.