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Event Provides Free Dental Care to Service Members, Their Families


Pennsylvania College of Technology dental hygiene students, joined by local hygienists and dentists who volunteered their time, provided free dental hygiene services to 29 current or veteran members of the armed services and their family members.

The 35 students who provided “Service Saturday” treatments on April 14 are in the Community Dental Health course, taught by Kim A. Speicher, assistant professor of dental hygiene. Each year, the class provides community service to a population in need, Speicher explained.

A group of 35 Penn College students – plus two local dentists and 11 hygienists who volunteered – provided a “Service Saturday” in the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic on April 14. They provided free dental hygiene services to 29 patients: all veterans or current service members and their dependents. The event was facilitated by dental hygiene faculty member Kim A. Speicher (standing, far left), and student Jessica L. Srock (standing, front row, far right), of Tyrone.
A group of 35 Penn College students – plus two local dentists and 11 hygienists who volunteered – provided a “Service Saturday” in the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic on April 14. They provided free dental hygiene services to 29 patients: all veterans or current service members and their dependents. The event was facilitated by dental hygiene faculty member Kim A. Speicher (standing, far left), and student Jessica L. Srock (standing, front row, far right), of Tyrone.

The event was co-facilitated by Speicher and student Jessica L. Srock, of Tyrone, who has petitioned to graduate in May with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene: health policy and administration.

Local dentist Dr. Carl Jenkins examines a patient with students Amanda R. Flook, of Muncy, (center) and Gretchen O. Helfrich, of Schnecksville.
Local dentist Dr. Carl Jenkins examines a patient with students Amanda R. Flook, of Muncy, (center) and Gretchen O. Helfrich, of Schnecksville.

In addition to being a student, Srock is in the Army and is a working registered dental hygienist, having received her associate degree in dental hygiene from Penn College in 2017.

“Unless you are 100-percent disabled, no dental insurance is offered,” Srock explained of the military’s health care benefits and the need that prompted the Service Saturday event.

Students provided treatments, including cleanings, X-rays and sealants for children, while the licensed professionals provided required supervision. Dentists provided exams and made recommendations for further treatment if needed.

Providing dental hygiene services are (from left): Allison D. Bailey, a student from West Chester; Samantha J. Diehl, a student from East Berlin; Paige N. Spicher, a registered dental hygienist who graduated from Penn College in 2017; and, in second exam area, Courtney E. Bashwinger, a student from Levittown.
Providing dental hygiene services are (from left): Allison D. Bailey, a student from West Chester; Samantha J. Diehl, a student from East Berlin; Paige N. Spicher, a registered dental hygienist who graduated from Penn College in 2017; and, in second exam area, Courtney E. Bashwinger, a student from Levittown.

Colgate donated supplies to keep the event free. In addition, the Penn College Veterans Club provided thank you cards and pins to those who came in for service, and the Penn College chapter of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association provided snacks for the volunteers.

A sign in the ATHS atrium points the way to Service Saturday.
A sign in the ATHS atrium points the way to Service Saturday.

“Everyone has been excited about this,” Speicher said.

Throughout the academic year, the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic offers low-cost services to the community. To make an appointment, call 570-327-4500.

To learn more about the dental hygiene program at Penn College, call 570-327-4519.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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