130 students, faculty and professionals volunteer at Sask Polytech Health and Wellness Day
Program supports Regina Open Door Society clients while providing students with valuable applied learning opportunities
130 dentists, dental therapists, denturists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, nurses and Saskatchewan Polytechnic students, faculty and staff volunteers, came together at the Sask Polytech dental clinic at Regina Campus on March 26 to provide easy access to quality health care. Volunteers and students completed $43,216 worth of dentistry work.
“Health and Wellness Day, formally Dental Day, was created in 2012 as a response to the barriers many people face within our community in accessing oral care,” says Robin McKay Ganshorn, clinical coordinator and instructor for Sask Polytech’s dental programs. “Health and Wellness Day is a day of giving back to the community while also providing a hands-on learning experience for our Health Sciences and Nursing students.”
Volunteers provided care to 70 clients from the Regina Open Door Society. Many of the clients came in prior to Health and Wellness Day for a screening and exam, this allowed volunteers to focus on providing free oral health care on March 26.
For several years, Sask Polytech has maintained a good working relationship with the Regina Open Door Society to educate their clients about oral hygiene and health care. “This is an opportunity for students and volunteers to help clients along their health and wellness journey,” says Sharman Woynarski, academic chair for Sask Polytech’s dental programs. “Everyone has a different background. For example, some may have come here from refugee camps and have only had limited access to dental care. We hope this is a positive day for clients and students alike and they can continue with care in the Sask Polytech dental clinic moving forward.”
“The Health and Wellness Day, organized by Saskatchewan Polytechnic, has been a great help to many of our clients. Many of them are refugees and other newcomers who face many barriers and access to regular dental services due to cost and language barriers. Through this program, they received dental services and learned about dental hygiene for free. We are grateful to Saskatchewan Polytechnic and its volunteer dentists, dental hygienists and students for making this happen,” says Roberto Misterio, Health Services facilitator and educator with Regina Open Door Society.
Brooklyn MacLean is a third year Dental Hygiene student who helped organize the event, and recruit and coordinate volunteers. “Education is an important part of Sask Polytech’s Health and Wellness Day,” she says. “Throughout the day we had table clinics set up with Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting and Nursing students providing information on oral care, nutrition and general health. Many clients were able to visit the table clinics before or after their care to learn how oral health can impact their overall health.”
Health and Wellness Days depends on the generosity and financial support of sponsors. Thank you to the G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation Fund at the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation for their support and to Sask Polytech’s School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing.
“Dental and health care and education is essential to overall health and well-being. The G. Murray and Edna Forbes Foundation at the South Saskatchewan Community Foundation is pleased to support this project to provide free access to these important services to those in need in Regina,” says Susan Yuzik, fund advisor.
Learn more about Sask Polytech’s dental clinic at Regina campus. Dental care is provided by licensed dental therapists, dentists and dental assistants who are assisted by Sask Polytech dental assisting students. Dental hygiene care is provided by Sask Polytech students, under the supervision of licensed dental hygienists and dentists. To schedule your appointment, call 306-775-7531.