Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is expanding.
Gospel Mission officials say the move to five dental chairs from the existing two in its clinic — a facility currently staffed by volunteer dentists—will mean more patients in need can be treated at the free clinic.
The clinic is located inside the Gospel Mission’s building on Leon Avenue in downtown Kelowna.
“When we started this clinic 10 years ago, we had no idea how many people in our area cannot afford access to dental care,” said Gospel Mission executive director Randy Benson.
“There is incredible need and with our small clinic, we are unable to meet those needs in a timely manner. Therefore, we are excited to expand our clinic from two to five full clinical chairs.”
The expanded clinic will allow for a full-time staff dentist to provide a continuum of patient care, along with providing even more opportunities for the volunteer dental community that works at there.
On Thursday, the clinic’s volunteer dentists were presented with the 2014 Anita Tozer Memorial Award by the City of Kelowna. The award recognizes exemplary community service.
“The patients inspire the dentists,” said Dr. Emily Liu. who has been volunteering with the clinic for the last year. “They’re so appreciative. It is amazing to see what happens at the clinic. We’re very blessed that the clinic can expand, as it will mean even more resources.”
The expansion will allow the clinic to see even more patients, and better meet the need of the community, said the GospelMission is a release Monday.
Since opening in 2004, the clinic has provided an estimated $2 million dollars in denatal care and treated close to 3,000 patients.
The clinic will be renovated between May and July, with a re-opening scheduled for August.