- BC Games
Connect with Us
Working to help those in need
As part of a recent tour by Don McRae, Minister of Social Development and Bill Bennett, Kootenay East MLA and Minister of Energy and Mines, the Cranbrook Salvation Army gave a presentation of planned initiatives and a new dental clinic when it received its annual cheque from the government.
The cheque was $69,956.03 and is to cover the expenses to keep the shelter open every night from November 1 to March 31.
The new Mouth Minders Dental Clinic was a highlight of the tour. This clinic, which opened recently, was the result of donations from the public and from the proceeds of the Salvation Army Thrift Store, along with a grant from the Columbia Basin Trust for $16,000 and another $5,000 grant from Pacific Blue Cross. A generous donation by retired dentist Tim Comishin of dental equipment including a chair and x-ray equipment also helped to keep the cost down.
“A lot of people in need can feel inadequate when they go to a hospital or dentist office,” said Captain Kirk Green of the Salvation Army. “Being able to offer this in the building removes some of that stigma.”
To qualify to use the clinic, a potential patient must:
• Have dental pain or infection
• Cannot afford treatment at a private clinic
• Must be willing to have a tooth extracted
• Must be an adult
• Patients on government sponsored dental plans such as Social Services and NIHB are eligible
• Patients must be willing to have the Salvation Army determine their eligibility
• Persons with private or company sponsored benefit plans are not eligible for treatment.
Green noted that another key aspect of the clinic is that local dentists have volunteered their time to make sure the clinic can serve the demand as best as possible.
Green also showed the visiting ministers plans for a proposed new facility. This facility would cost more than $16 million and include 30 overnight beds for men and women, 16 units for stays up to two years and 16 units for stays longer than two years along with four family units.