PDS-supported clinicians and volunteers traveled to Guatemala for its 40th international service trip.
IRVINE, CALIF. August 10, 2023 – Pacific Dental Services® (PDS), one of the nation’s leading dental and medical support organizations, achieved a significant milestone in July 2023 by completing its 40th international service trip to provide vital dental care to patients in need.
Since its first international service trip in 2010, PDS-supported clinicians and non-clinical team members have provided a total of $11,148,654 in dental care globally, positively impacting 16,669 patients. This achievement can be attributed to the dedication of over 550 volunteers who have collectively contributed 27,720 hours of their time. These efforts have extended vital assistance to patients in Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Fiji.
“This achievement is one that makes me particularly proud, as it underscores our efforts to create opportunities for our team members to serve, not only having a meaningful impact on others, but also on their own lives,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV, Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services. “The inception of our internal ‘We Serve’ department and the PDS Foundation was rooted in this very purpose — to provide avenues for our team to serve others in a profound and impactful way.”
Guatemala faces an overwhelming demand for dental care, especially among rural residents who encounter challenges in accessing it. Dental diseases, exacerbated by inadequate education and malnutrition, pose significant health concerns. Recognizing the significant need for oral health care within the country, the PDS Foundation established a cost-free dental clinic in Xenacoj in 2015. The PDS Foundation Clínica Dental also provides Spanish-translated educational resources, bridging the language gap to educate patients about the vital significance of oral health to their overall health.
From July 18 – 23, 2023, a group of PDS-supported dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and non-clinical volunteers worked alongside the PDS Foundation Clínica Dental staff. Together, they provided essential care to 102 patients, offering a comprehensive range of treatments valued at $101,651, including fillings, extractions, and root canals. Beyond dental care, the volunteers partnered with the PDS Foundation’s local team and delivered stoves and food to families within the community. This trip marked PDS’ third visit to Guatemala this year, with one more scheduled for September.
To learn more about the PDS Foundation’s international service program, please click here.