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Dentists help colleague, others with Sandy damage


Working together: A group of dentists, dental residents and family members volunteered to clean up and help repair homes on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens on Nov. 11.

Queens, N.Y.—Organized dentistry took on a new meaning when a group of dental professionals from St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx came to the aid of a colleague whose new home was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

 
Hands-on help: Drs. Sherrill Fay and Paul Chu, dentists at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, work on the basement of a colleague whose new home was flooded during Sandy.
Drs. Paul Chu and Sherrill Fay, a pediatric dentist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, respectively, organized more than 20 dentists, dental residents and family members to help clean up the home of Dr. Brett King, also an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Dr. King had purchased his home in the Belle Harbor neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens just three months before Sandy hit.

"It became very personal to us when we heard that the home of Dr. Brett King had been badly damaged," Dr. Chu said. "Everyone wanted to help."

The volunteers spent Nov. 11 clearing debris from Dr. King's home, removing damaged drywall and door frames, and working on other homes in the area.

"His basement was destroyed, but he was lucky," Dr. Chu said. "The two houses next to him had been burned down and were no longer there."

Some volunteers had construction experience and guided ones who didn't, Dr. Chu indicated. "The work was very tiring and the damage was beyond our imagination. But it felt wonderful to be able to make a difference," he said.