The Monongahela Valley Dental Society has pledged $25,000 over five years to the West Virginia University School of Dentistry to increase oral care access for underinsured and uninsured patients in North Central West Virginia.
MVDS, a component society of the West Virginia Dental Association, established this fund in memory of WVU alumnus Dr. Richard Heal. The funds provide resources for Milan Puskar Health Right patients to receive care from WVU dental students.
“The MVDS is the only component in the state with a dental school, so we wanted to embrace a positive relationship with the School,” said President Dr. Dan Carrier. “Our member dentists are all individually charitable and participate in outreaches such as Give Kids a Smile Day and free care on Veteran’s Day. It’s nice to come together as a group to give back.”
Milan Puskar Health Right is a community supported free clinic that provides various health care services and education to qualifying patients of North Central West Virginia on a limited basis. The MVDS Fund will help many patients receive dental treatment – a health service that is normally overlooked in West Virginia.
Dr. Heal was a member of the first WVU Dental Class in 1961 and a founding member of the WVU School of Dentistry Alumni Association. He loved the Mountaineers and attended every home football game for more than 50 years. He contributed the rest of his time serving as president of the MVDS and the West Virginia Dental Association in many positions implementing new dental programs and continuing education meetings.
“The MVDS is an integral component of improving oral health care in West Virginia,” said Dr. Tom Borgia, dean of the WVU School of Dentistry. “With their contribution to our School, our students are giving patients in need the care they deserve while also gaining great experience.”
“This pledge is MVDS’ first major donation,” said Dr. Carrier. “To have it in memory of such an instrumental member of the society, like Dr. Heal, is an honor.”
This donation was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University.” The $1 billion fundraising effort being conducted by the WVU Foundation on behalf of the University runs through December 2017.
CONTACT: Office of Philanthropy; WVU Health Sciences Center
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