Martin, age 61, is an Oregon native raised in Portland. He was born with Down syndrome and has struggled over this past year with Parkinson’s Disease Dementia. Even though he has had these challenges, Martin is still enthusiastic about life and loves meeting new people. His sister, Nancy, describes him as, “A character with a witty personality and a funny sense of humor; he is very social and never treats anyone like a stranger.” Martin enjoys going out into the community, going to the market and taking short walks. He also loves to eat; his favorite dish is a hamburger served alongside French fries. The walls of his room are lined from top to bottom with posters featuring Batman, Superman, and many other super heroes. He also likes listening to golden oldies, like Old Time Rock and Roll. He loves the local wildlife and is often greeted by a raccoon that comes to his back door every morning.
Martin’s first experience with Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) was with Dr. Brian Koch, who went out and examined Martin because he was having severe tooth pain. The mobile dentist was very kind and took his time with Martin, he never pushed Martin to do anything that he was not comfortable doing.
Despite Dr. Koch’s best efforts, due to Martin’s acute situational anxiety he was later referred to the hospital for treatment under general anesthesia. Since his dental procedure, Martin has shown a great improvement in his mood and overall health. Before being introduced to the ENDS program, Martin was going into a traditional dental office setting where he had issues staying still and letting a dentist look in his mouth. After being treated in the hospital by Dr. John Aspros, Martin has become a lot more like himself and so much happier.
Nancy says, “His mood has changed tremendously and he’s back to his witty self.” She is very appreciative of the ENDS program and what it has done for her brother. Nancy said that without ENDS she would have been at a loss with Martin. The help that he has received has been a huge blessing in his life. They will be forever grateful for Dr. Aspros, the ENDS program, and the benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan.
“Eating and Smiling Again”
Ruth, age 61, was born and raised in Portland. For most of her life she worked as a Certified Nursing Aide, taking care of children and adults. Over the past few years she has developed dementia and acute situational anxiety. Due to her declining condition she developed the inability to tolerate treatment in a traditional dental office and even at home. She was in so much pain that her caregivers had great difficulty even touching her mouth. “She was losing weight and not eating – it was very touch and go,” said one facility worker. Her mobile dental provider, Dr. James Edwards, recommended she be treated in a hospital setting.
Hospital treatment requires the coordination of many providers and staff. It can even require a great deal of support from the patient’s family or guardians. Ruth wasn’t exactly on an island, but she was without any family support. Fortunately, her Primary Care Physician, care facility staff, providers from the hospital, and the staff at Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) stepped in to fill that gap. The PCP, Dr. Robert Tilley, signed the consent forms necessary for the surgery to go forward. Without him taking on that responsibility Ruth would not have received this crucial treatment.
After being successfully treated her caregivers report that, “She’s eating and smiling again, participating in activities that she wasn’t able to do before the surgery.” Ruth has spent her life caring for others. The dental care benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan, and providers like Dr. Robert Tilley and the ENDS Program help to ensure that she is taken care of too.
Cindy Brawand, EPDH, donated her expertise for the seventh consecutive year to Community Homeless Connect. Overall, the dental providers donated $20,855 in dentistry services. Capitol Dental Care, Willamette Dental, and ENDS also contributed to the event by supplying volunteers, materials, portable dental chairs, and coordinating services.
“He was happy too. I know I was.”
Fred, Age 67, has an intellectual disability, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Autism. While this made it a challenge for him to be seen in a traditional dental office setting, Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) provides dental care access for such individuals.
Those who work with Fred describe him as a very fun individual to be around. He can also be extremely captivated by things, and Fred’s support staff are careful to keep him out of unsafe areas. His caregivers have said, “Sometimes he sees something he wants and he’s not going to stop until he gets it.” Because of this, there was concern that Fred’s attachment to his old dentist would make the transition to ENDS problematic. “Fortunately, Lori is ideal for Fred.”
Lori Killen Aus, Expanded Practice Dental Hygienist (EPDH), has been practicing dental hygiene since 1980, and joined the ENDS program in 2012. She has a real passion for her profession, and practices with integrity and a warm heart. Lori’s first visit with Fred demonstrated this well. In the past he has required conscious sedation before allowing someone to reach into his mouth to deliver treatment, but with Lori that was not needed. Her accommodating chairside manner helped Fred to sit still and allowed her clean his teeth in his group home.
Fred likes to play games with his caregivers and enjoys listening to a good country beat. More recently, a severe shoulder injury has slowed him down, but he is as cheerful as ever. When Lori finished treating him he gave her a couple of hugs for the road. “Apparently he was happy too. I know I sure was.” The dental care benefits made possible through Oregon Health Plan and providers like Lori Killen Aus, EPDH, allow thousands of patients like Fred to receive essential oral health care.
One of Vicki’s beautiful cakes
“Gracious and Courteous Care”
Vickie, age 66, has used a wheelchair for about the last seven years. As an Oregon native, she has had the unique opportunity to study at 20 different schools in the Willamette Valley throughout her lifetime. Thanks to the skills she learned in business classes, she joined the work force the very first Monday after she graduated high school. Her career continued to evolve as she went from working for a retail credit card company to a hearing aid center.
When Vickie’s children were very young she preferred to stay at home with them. When they became school-aged she went back to work as a cake decorator. She still keeps an album filled with all of her beautiful cakes.
Vickie first met Dr. Hayden seven years ago. He became her mobile dentist when she was referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services. Before she met Dr. Hayden, Vickie had quite a bit of anxiety about treatment. Now that she has been in his care she no longer feels that worry or discomfort. “He has a great bedside manner and is very accommodating.” She enjoys his conversations and feels that he has been gracious and courteous throughout her dental care. Dr. Hayden continues to visit her on a regular basis.
Vickie is an avid birder
Vickie enjoys visiting with her four grandbabies whenever she can. On very special occasions she celebrates with food from her favorite Chinese restaurant. Vickie also loves to look up beautiful places, birds, and positive sayings from around the world; she enjoys sharing them with her friends.
The dental benefits made possible by Oregon Health Plan (OHP) mean that Vickie will continue to receive quality oral health care throughout her life.
“Family is like medicine”
Jose, age 60, is a disabled veteran, diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. A stroke left him paralyzed on the left side of his body and bound to a wheelchair. The brain hemorrhage has caused 70% memory loss and Jose can no longer speak in sentences.
Despite these struggles most days are well for him; his wife is his caregiver and his children help when they can. His wife, Rosa, tells us, “Family is like medicine.” They are there for him and all of his care needs. It was the family dog, Chico, who alerted everyone when Jose was having a stroke. Since then, Jose’s daughter has helped Chico to become certified as a service dog.
Jose is no longer able to receive oral care in a traditional office setting. Fortunately, the ENDS program has given him a wonderful dental experience. Every time a commercial comes on that is related to oral care he points to the television with excitement. He is scheduled to receive new dentures from the ENDS mobile denturists.
Jose enjoys watching movies at home and keeping up to date with news from around the world. He has always enjoyed going to car shows and once had the pleasure of owning his favorite model, a two door 1955 Chevrolet Nomad Estate Car. Before his stroke occurred he was a member of the Oldies Car Club. He used to paint houses and do maintenance jobs, too.
With the dental benefits made possible by Oregon Health Plan (OHP), Jose will continue to receive quality care that would otherwise be inaccessible. His family is very grateful for the ENDS program.
Community Homeless Connect (Salem Oregon) Cindy Brawand (second from the left, in front), EPDH donated her expertise for the sixth consecutive year to Community Homeless Connect. Overall the dental providers donated $27,922 in dentistry services. Capitol Dental Care, Willamette Dental and ENDS also contributed to the event in the supplying of volunteers, materials, portable dental chairs and coordinating services.
Cindy Brawand (third from left), with other Community Homeless Connect volunteers.
Community Homeless Connect is a one day resource fair focused to connect our homeless neighbors and those at risk of becoming homeless. Services include medical care, cutting hair, serving food, and more.