Last year, Dr. Melissa Knudsen went on a 10-day dental mission trip to Panama. The trip was organized and sponsored by the non-profit organization NEVOSH (Northeast Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity), a distinguished chapter of VOSH International.
Every year, NEVOSH conducts medical mission trips to Central America for optometrists, physicians, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, opticians, and other medical professionals who provide their skill and expertise in an effort to “give back.” The non-profit embarked on its first mission in 1987 to provide optometry services and has since expanded to offer a variety of free healthcare assistance to impoverished communities.
Dr. Knudsen traveled to different schools in Panama – which were used as clinic sites – with a team of dentists to provide oral cancer screenings, dental cleanings, fillings and extractions for adults and children in need. Patients sat in desks while waiting for their turn, and some of the schools didn’t even have running water, Dr. Knudsen revealed. Despite the limited resources, she said it was a rewarding experience, and really nice seeing how people appreciated everything they did for them. She looks forward to volunteering with the organization again in 2015.
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