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Volunteers donate dental services to veterans

October 27, 2016

By Jennifer Garvin

Photo of patients at the 2016 Homeless Veteran Stand Down for Monterey County
Line up: Patients line up for dental care during the 2016 Homeless Veteran Stand Down for Monterey County.
Monterey, Calif.
— About 600 volunteers came together for the 2016 Homeless Veteran Stand Down for Monterey County.

The Aug. 19-20 event provided dental care, medical care, food, clothing and many other services to more than 370 homeless veterans and their families. United Veterans Council of Monterey County and the Veterans Transition Center of Marina, California sponsored the event.

The Monterey Bay Dental Society, along with the Dental Hygiene Department from Cabrillo College, recruited more than 105 dentists, hygienists and assistants. The volunteers provided prophys, placed sealants and also performed extractions and root canals. In all, the dental volunteers treated 157 patients and delivered more than $64,000 worth of care.

“The dental care was a wonderful addition,” said William Terry Bare, executive director, Veteran Transition Center, who called it a “huge” success.

Photo of members of the Monterey Bay Dental Society, Drs. Tim Griffin, Richard Kent and Lloyd Nattkemper
Working together: Members of the Monterey Bay Dental Society take a moment to pose with a grateful patient. From left are Drs. Tim Griffin, Richard Kent and Lloyd Nattkemper. In all, the dental volunteers for the Veteran Stand Down event treated 157 patients and delivered more than $64,000 worth of care.
One of the organizers, Dr. Abel Loredo of Watsonville, California, donated 20 full clinical set-ups, including dental equipment, chairs, supplies and more through his church organization, New Life Hope. As someone who once dreamed of becoming a medical missionary, Dr. Loredo said he was grateful to be part of the charitable event.  

“I've discovered that there is much need around me and I am glad and humble to serve,” said Dr. Loredo. “I will continue volunteering till I can no longer do it.”

Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian during the 2016 Homeless Veteran Stand Down for Monterey County
Charity in action: Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian treats a patient during the event.
“The reaction from the majority of the veterans we took care of was one of gratitude and excitement to finally have the dental treatment they so desperately needed,” said Dr. Elena Ebrahimian, who volunteered with her entire dental practice, including her father, Dr. Max Ebrahimian, and sister, Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian, the current board president of the Monterey Bay Dental Society.

“The team was grateful for the incredible opportunity to serve such an impressive need right in their own backyard,” added Dr. Max Ebrahimian.

“I participated all day, both days. The overall sense I had, especially at the end of the day on Saturday, what that it was hugely worthwhile, fun, totally positive, and that almost all of us who participated would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Dr. Lloyd Nattkemper, who first heard about the event in 2014 from one of his patients, a retired Marine who was involved in helping organize that year’s event. “So many of the veterans were tearfully appreciative, had great things to say about what we did for them — it was truly moving.”