As an Adams Morgan resident for many years, I have walked by the Ontario Road Mary's Center many times and wondered about it. So recently, when needing a dental check up, I decided to try their services. Incidentally, I read that for insured dental visits, uninsured patients also receive services. So I was excited about contributing to the "Robin Hood" model, AND having my exam.
I made my appointment effortlessly, received a reminder phone call, and showed up at the Georgia Avenue clinic at my appointed time. The Georgia Avenue clinic is a huge, professional, medical and service center, with a bustling dental clinic as well as numerous other clinics. Signage was great and I found the dental clinic, signed in and was given straight-forward paper work to fill out. The waiting room was busy, efficient, and comfortable.
Within about 15 minutes my name was called. My hygienist did a very thorough job and was positive, friendly and educational along the way. As a long-term public health professional, I was intrigued with what motivated my hygienist to work at Mary's Center. She shared that she had previously worked in the D.C. suburbs and found the work routine and boring. At Mary's Center, she is challenged every day by patients who have never seen a dentist. In the four years she has worked there, she sees a change in her patients' dental health, and feels she is making an important difference in people's overall health and well being. Her enthusiasm for her work and for Mary's Center in particular left me motivated to further see how I might engage as well. So after my successful dental visit, I called to see how I might become a Mary's Center volunteer. Stay tuned!
- written by Ann Lion