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Michigan Refugees Receive Free Dental Care at Grand Rapids Event



Volunteer medical professionals treat refugee patients in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during a two-day free health event in August.
Image supplied by the Lake Union Communication Dept.


More than 100 refugee patients received $40,000 worth of medical care in the form of dental cleanings, extractions, and root canals when the Grand Rapids Central Seventh-day Adventist Church teamed up with the newly-formed Myanmar company and local New Hope Baptist church to hold a free dental and health event on August 12 and 14.
The pop-up clinic, located on the New Hope Baptist church campus in Grand Rapids, and staffed by Adventist volunteers, was visited by nearly 200 refugees from west Michigan during the two-day event.  
“We realize that a lot of our refugees either don’t have access to dental care or don’t have a way to access it,” said Grand Rapids Central Pastor Bob Stewart in a WZZM Channel 13 report. “So, we felt that there was a need.”
Dentists, hygienists, nutritionists, massage therapists, and beauticians volunteered during the event that coincided with a Rwandan camp meeting. Translation services for refugee populations were also available in five languages, including Burmese, Rwandan, and Zomi.
Yvette Weir, a local dentist and church member, was the lead local organizer. “I am very much interested in mission so when there was a need for someone to coordinate, I volunteered,” she said.
Qowsay Muharib, a local dentist originally from Iraq, said that helping at the event was “a reward in itself. You don’t need to get any compensation; it’s a good thing.”
The event was so successful that more clinics are being planned in the Lake Union in coming weeks.
— Information gathered from reports by the Lake Union Conference communication department and WZZM Channel 13, an ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids.

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