In July 2009, Dr. Alex Konstantinov (Director of the Western Regional Health Authority) and Nurse Stanton (Western Regional Dental Nurse) came to Great Shape! Inc. with a plan. The Maroon Town community and surrounding area was in great need of dental care. In 2008, Great Shape!’s 1000 Smiles dental project spent two weeks in Maroon Town. Hundreds of people filled the waiting room and lines stretched far for the clinic. But, the 2008 clinic in Maroon Town hardly put a dent in the great need for the community.

Dr. Konstantinov and Nurse Stanton’s call for more care in Maroon Town was answered by Great Shape! With the support of Sandals Foundation, Great Shape! installed a fully functional two chair dental clinic in the Maroon Town Type 3 Health Center. The donated equipment includes 2 patient chairs, 4 dentist stools, 2 delivery unites (drills, air/water, suction), a vacuum pump, a dental air compressor, lights, an autoclave sterilizer and all the tubing and plumbing necessary to make it all work. Dedicated Great Shape! volunteers Bob Patillo and Dr. C.R. Anderegg from Seattle, WA secured the donated equipment from dental offices in the U.S. The value of their donations exceeds $10,000 USD. All of this fabulous equipment was installed by Richard Cameron, an Ocho Rios resident who was trained by 1000 Smiles dental equipment technicians. The Ministry of Health also provided an expert electrician to rewire the clinic.

Through the collaborative efforts of Dr. Konstantinov, Nurse Stanton, Sandals Foundation, Bob Patillo, Dr. Anderegg, Richard Cameron, the Jamaican Ministry of Health and Great Shape!, local Maroon Town residents will now be able to receive much needed dental services. The St. James Ministry of Health dental staff will visit the clinics on a regular basis to help keep the local Jamaicans pearly whites healthy and strong!

Projects such as this are an important part of Great Shape!’s efforts to promote sustainability. A Big Up! to everyone involved, especially Sandals Foundation. Great Shape! changes lives with the collaboration of dedicated volunteers and gracious sponsors, thank you!

With just these two chairs, thousands of Jamaicans in Maroon Town will receive dental care to keep their pearly whites shining!

Great Shape trainee, Richard Cameron, measures the distance needed to connect a water supply to the vacuum pump.

Maroon Town nurses share a laugh as they welcome the new dental clinic.