Partnership Spotlight: Hittle Landscaping

Hittle Landscaping is a family-owned business that opened its doors in 1973. Since, Hittle has become one of the largest, most respected landscaping companies in Central Indiana. Last year, Hittle Landscaping became one of Trinity Free Clinic’s partners for their new Employer Project. The Employer Project is a community outreach program designed to educate employees on the free medical and dental services available through the Trinity Free Clinic.

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According to Hittle Landscaping Director John Cote, Hittle and the Trinity Free Clinic connected in the spring of 2018 at a local Chamber of Commerce event where he met the clinic’s Executive Director, Dina Ferchmin. “Dina invited myself and the VP of Human Resources to visit the clinic. She provided us with a tour of the facility, introduced us to her team. Her team is just so caring.”

From there, the partnership between the Trinity Free Clinic and Hittle Landscaping grew. Now, the Trinity Free Clinic allows all Hittle employees to be treated at the clinic. This includes employees that reside outside of Hamilton County. In return, Hittle provides landscaping to the Trinity Free Clinic building.

“Trinity Free Clinic provides a safety net of extensive medical services for the uninsured and underinsured in Hamilton County,” Cote said. “The entire staff treats patients with dignity and respect.”

This was the first partnership of its kind at the Trinity Free Clinic and they hope to keep acquiring similar partnerships. “We introduced Trinity Free Clinic to our employees in the Spring of 2018,” Cote said. [There has been] nothing but positive, emotional remarks.”

The Trinity Free Clinic hopes that with the Employer Project, they can be proactive about the health of employees in the community. “One of our employees had an infected tooth,” Cote said. “He tried to work through it, but the pain became so bad that he just couldn’t. He went to Trinity, had his tooth pulled, and was prescribed antibiotics. He was so grateful.”

Cote looks forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship between Hittle Landscaping and the Trinity Free Clinic. “We recently introduced some new employees to Trinity at a recent hiring event. They were so pleased to know that there is an organization that truly cares about their well being. Our relationship with Trinity is just one more step to letting our employees know that we care.”

Butler Physician Assistant Program Donates Toys, Activities & Office Supplies to Trinity


The Butler Physician Assistant (PA) Program is a well-established program that produces graduates who not only have a strong foundation in primary care, but also emphasizes the importance of giving back to the community. This program, established in 1995, has a 24-month curriculum that is divided in a didactic classroom phase and a clinical rotation phase. Moreover, each class that goes through the program fundraises and sponsors their own service events two to three times per year.

Kelley Dufour, Fundraising Chair for the Butler PA program class of 2019, discusses the value of having a strong community surrounding the program. “The community is vital to the Butler PA Program as they give to us and help further our education, especially in the clinical year serving as clinical preceptors and patients.”


This past holiday season, the Butler PA Class of 2019 wanted to focus on free health clinics that are serving the community. They decided to partner with the Trinity Free Clinic and donated office supplies as well as toys, activities, and pillows for the clinic’s pediatric patients.

“We decided to partner with the Trinity Free Clinic because we appreciate the work they are doing in our community and we wanted to help them in their mission,” Dufour said. “We know that healthcare can be difficult for everyone to obtain, and it is important that places such as the Trinity Free Clinic exist to ensure that everyone has equal access to care.”

After being on clinic rotations last year, the PA Class of 2019 realized the need for the Trinity Free Clinic, and clinic’s like it, to care for patients that may not otherwise be able to receive medical care. They were also very excited to know that the toys and activities that were donated to Trinity are putting smiles on pediatric patients’ faces as they leave their appointments.

Dufour wants the Butler Community to really know about how the Trinity Free Clinic’s work is essential to the community in addition to how they can help assist the Trinity Free Clinic. The Trinity Free Clinic was grateful of the donations given to them by the Butler PA program and looks forward to partnering with them again in the future.

“As students we are grateful to be part of a program that places a strong emphasis on service and being leaders within the community,” Dufour said. “We hope to continue to work with clinics to help their mission of caring for the underserved.”

Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda Beering

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Amanda Beering spent two years volunteering as a Spanish Interpreter at the Trinity Free Clinic. While Amanda is now pursuing her medical degree at the University of Louisville, she has left a mark on the clinic.

At 13 years old, Amanda discovered a passion for medicine and interpreting when she visited a medical mission in Panama for the first time with her father. After that first trip to Panama, Amanda’s family started Mission Coffee, a company that imports and resells coffee grown at the Boquete Medical Mission in Northwest Panama. Every year, the company front-loads the contributions by buying the coffee retail from the farm. The family then spends time making up the costs by selling their coffee online, at the Carmel Farmers Market and other events.

Since her first visit, Amanda has taken multiple trips to Panama ranging from weeks to months at a time. During her visits, she would tutor kids, interpret for doctors and serve as a medical assistant.

Amanda has the philosophy that global health is not just something that happens in other countries. She believes global health is also an important factor in local communities. With experience interpreting for several years, she sought to find a non-profit where her skill could be put to use. As she looked into a number of opportunities to volunteer as an interpreter, she found the Trinity Free Clinic.

“I thought that the Trinity Free Clinic’s mission was most inline with what my values were,” Amanda said.

Furthermore, Amanda wants people to know going to other countries is not the only way to get mission experience. She believes that in any community there can be language discordance, and the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds.

“The Trinity Free Clinic provides you an opportunity to share your time and talent in ways that are impactful for people who are facing barriers to care, and that is at the heart of global health,” Amanda said.

Back when she first heard about Trinity’s Run for Wellness race and the need for sponsors, Amanda knew it was a great opportunity for Mission Coffee to get involved with the clinic. She went to her dad and said, “I am volunteering for us to do this.” Since then, Mission Coffee and the Trinity Free Clinic’s relationship has continued to grow.

“I think that the goals and values between Mission Coffee and Trinity are really nicely aligned as far as the value that is based on people,” Amanda said. I think both are very people centered and that the people involved [in each organization] are people who care about people.”

Even though Amanda now resides in Louisville, Mission Coffee still attends the Run for Wellness race. “We really support what the Trinity Free Clinic stands for and what they are doing,” Amanda said. The Trinity Free is so appreciative to have past and current volunteers like Amanda and is so grateful for relationships with organizations like Mission Coffee.

Hamilton County Community Foundation Continues Supporting the Trinity Free Clinic

The Hamilton County Community Foundation was established in 1991 to address specific needs in Hamilton County. The foundation, formerly known as the Legacy Fund, provides opportunities for Hamilton County residents to make an impact in their own neighborhood.  

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In 1997, Hamilton County Community Foundation partnered with The Indianapolis Foundation to create the Central Indiana Community Foundation. This partnership brought a regional approach to grant-making initiatives in Central Indiana, while still allowing the Hamilton County Community Foundation and The Indianapolis Foundation the ability to serve the needs of their individual communities.

The Hamilton County Community Foundation strives to improve and enhance life for those who call Hamilton County their home. Their vision for Hamilton County is to build a community where opportunity meets growth for everyone, and philanthropic efforts support not-for-profit organizations doing vital work.

The Trinity Free Clinic is extremely grateful for the Hamilton County Community Foundation. The clinic received its first grant from the foundation 19 years ago, and has received a grant from them almost every year ever since. In 2018, they awarded the Trinity Free Clinic a $20,000 grant for general operations. $14,000 of the grant was paid for by the Hamilton County Community Foundation, $5,000 was paid for by the City of Noblesville, and $1,000 was paid for by the City of Sheridan.

With the foundation’s charitable contributions, Trinity is able provide their patients with the best possible care while helping fulfill Hamilton County Community Foundation’s vision of improving and enhancing life for Hamilton County residents. Last year’s grant money helped support 6,362 medical and dental visits at Trinity last year. 1,917 of those visits were Noblesville residents, and 129 of those visits were Sheridan residents.

The Trinity Free Clinic is thankful for the continuing support from the Hamilton County Community Foundation. Trinity is dedicated to serving the low-income, uninsured, and underinsured workers and their families of Hamilton County and they are only able to do so because of organizations like the Hamilton County Community Foundation.

Trinity Free Clinic Awarded $7,500 Grant from Urology of Indiana

Urology of Indiana prides itself on providing quality, cost-effective and comprehensive urologic care throughout Indiana. The healthcare network is committed to five core values: Compassion, Accountability, Adaptability, Respect, and Excellence. These values are shown not only through how they practice medicine, but how they choose to give back to their community. Urology of Indiana has a charitable fund with the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) and awards organizations with grant money.

Through the CICF, Urology of Indiana awarded the Trinity Free Clinic with a $7,500 grant for general operations of the clinic. The money was used to help support the 1,271 acute medical visits and the 1,520 dental visits at the clinic last year.  

The Trinity Free Clinic is very thankful for the charitable contribution given by Urology of Indiana. The Trinity Free Clinic strives to be proactive with their patient’s health and to keep Hamilton County a healthy place to work and live. Without support from community organizations, like Urology of Indiana, the clinic would not be able to keep providing its services to the low-income, uninsured, or underinsured workers and their families in Hamilton County.

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LINK Youth Advisory Council Provides Grant for Pediatric & Immunization Clinics

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The LINK Youth Advisory Council was established in 2002 by the Hamilton County Community Foundation, the Central Indiana Community Foundation affiliate serving Hamilton County. The council is comprised of student leaders from high schools around Hamilton County. Every Spring, the Hamilton County Community Foundation provides $15,000 for the LINK Youth Advisory Council to award grants to various Hamilton County organizations.

The Trinity Free Clinic is grateful to be one of the non-profits that has been given charitable contributions from the LINK Youth Advisory Council. In 2018, the LINK Youth Advisory Council awarded the Trinity Free Clinic $3,000 for their Pediatric and Immunization clinics. The grant money received from the council went towards the 753 pediatric patient visits and the 598 immunizations given by the the clinic last year.

In December, the Trinity Free Clinic’s Community Development Manager, Anna Kaiser, hosted the advisory council for a Dine and Learn at the clinic. During the event, members of the council took a tour of the clinic while hearing about the services the clinic offers and stories of the patients that come to the clinic.

The Trinity Free Clinic is dedicated to serving the low-income, uninsured, or underinsured workers and their families of Hamilton County. We are so thankful for the LINK Youth Advisory Council and their support of the Trinity Free Clinic in providing the best care to Hamilton County residents.

Trinity Free Clinic Receives Grant from Senior Fund


            In December, TFC gratefully accepted an award of $30,000 from the Central Indiana Senior Charles N. Smith Trust Fund.  The mission of this special fund is to support programs for low to moderate income older adults in Central Indiana with a focus on underserved or isolated populations.  Since its inception in 2005, the Senior Fund has awarded more than $7.6 million to senior focused not-for-profits and programs in order to assure that elderly in our community have the basics of life and can live the last chapters of their lives with a sense of dignity and worth.  The Senior Fund is administered by the Central Indiana Community Fund (CICF).

             Almost half of the senior citizens in Hamilton County live at or below 60% of the county’s median income.  At TFC, about 17% of our patients are 55 years old or older.  We see them frequently in our dental clinic because standard Medicare does not provide dental coverage.  We also treat seniors on the medical side of the Clinic with acute care as well as many of our specialty clinics, such as hypertension, physical therapy, podiatry and eye clinics.  In 2018, we treated 485 senior patients in 874 visits.

             The money we have just received from the Senior Fund will support our efforts to treat about 600 senior citizens over the 12-month grant period.  We are so thankful for this generous financial support from the CICF/Senior Fund and we are excited to be able to serve this special population of Hamilton County.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sheryl Ciulla

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Since 2013, Sheryl Ciulla has volunteered over 450 hours at the Trinity Free Clinic, a clinic dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of the uninsured and underinsured low income residents of Hamilton County. Before managing her husband’s medical practice for 15 years, Sheryl was an emergency nurse and nurse practitioner. She says her experience working in the emergency room has helped her with her duties at the Trinity Free Clinic.

Sheryl has two different roles at the clinic: manager and nurse. As a manager, she knows how the clinic runs and can answer any questions that arise during different shifts. However, Sheryl finds the most joy in her nursing role at the clinic because she likes taking care of and getting to know the patients. While Sheryl has volunteered at other organizations, she feels like Trinity is where she can make the most impact. She says most people would be shocked to find out how many people in Hamilton County are in need of the Trinity Free Clinic’s services. Because of that, Trinity fills a huge need and as a volunteer there, you can really make a difference in a someone’s life.

Trinity Free Clinic Celebrates Our Continuing Partnership with the Estridge Family Foundation

This January, Trinity Free Clinic will be receiving the third installment of a very generous $45,000 grant from the Estridge Family Foundation. Since 2013, Trinity has received over $150,000 in grant money from the foundation to help in providing the best care to their patients.

The Estridge Family Trust Foundation was established in 2007 by Carol and Paul Estridge Sr., their son Paul Estridge Jr. and their daughters Sherry McNutt and Vickie Short. The foundation was set-up to help support generations to come with a focus on fulfilling Christian values, especially for those who are less fortunate. Since being established, the foundation has granted millions of dollars to different charitable organizations in Indiana. Trinity Free Clinic is deeply grateful to have been blessed as one of those organizations.

The Estridge Family’s relationship with the Trinity Free Clinic goes beyond receiving grant money.  In 2011, to meet the growing needs of patients, the Trinity Free Clinic moved out of the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel convent and into the Matthew 25 Center. Prior to the move, Paul Estridge Jr. and his company helped develop the architecture plan for the clinic in the Matthew 25 Center.

The Trinity Free Clinic is so grateful for the Estridge Family Trust Foundation and their constant support of the clinic in so many ways. Trinity is devoted to serving the low-income, uninsured, or underinsured workers and their families in Hamilton County and we are able to do so because of foundations like The Estridge Family Trust Foundation.

Girl Scouts to the Rescue

Many people have heard of Girl Scouts but don’t necessarily know what the Girl Scouts are or how they help girls reach their full potential.  Even more interesting, how the Girls Scouts have helped Trinity Free Clinic recently. 

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The Girl Scouts program was created by Juliette Gordon Low on March 12, 1912.   Juliette was living during the Progressive Era.  Women still could not vote and opportunities were heavily limited by bureaucracy.  Juliette was determined to create a program that brought women together through their individuality, strength, and desire to exercise their intellect. All these ideas led to their mission to build girls into courageous, confident, people of character who work to make the world a better place.  Now, over 100 years later, there are 2.6 million active scouts and more than 50 million alums.  The desire to spread the mission of the Girl Scouts has reached 92 countries!  Plus, their desire to make the world a better place has now reached Trinity Free Clinic.

On September 17th, a local Girl Scout troop decided to purchase and donate tooth brushes and tooth paste to the clinic.  The scouts handpicked the products and decided this clinic was who they felt was doing good for the community.  Not only did they go out of their way to help the clinic but they also decided to remain anonymous; keeping their main focus on giving back rather than gaining attention! We are so thankful for the donation.

You can find more information about Girl Scouts at

TFC is Taking Down Childhood Obesity

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that “over the past two decades obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled among adolescents in the United States.” Trinity Free Clinic is working to make positive change regarding this health epidemic.


Creating awareness about what needs to change in diet is the first step to a healthier child. So, our volunteer Registered Dietician, Kristine Grider, created a user friendly, 10-question survey for our pediatric patients. After completing the survey, our dietician assess if the patient is practicing unhealthy eating behaviors that could lead to detrimental weight gain in the future. Severe weight gain can lead to heart disease, diabetes, shortened life span, and most definitely a lesser quality of life.

By completing and going over the survey with patients, it opens up a conversation between the dietician and the patient about what eating healthy really looks like. It gives both the dietician and the patient a chance to reflect on how the patients eating habits will change their future wellbeing, for better or worse. Even small changes in diet, sleep hygiene, and exercise can prevent childhood obesity.

Kristine Grider is in the process of developing an education packet, in English and Spanish, that will help spark conversations about healthy eating within families encouraging them to make the first step to a better life.

Accomplishing Our Values through Vision

Sweet-Obenauf is a vision care company that has been leading the eye care field in the Fishers area since 1996. Their mission to the people of Fishers is to, “provide the best eye care services possible, [by] our doctors [using] only the most advanced, state-of-the-art diagnostic technology and eye care products available. We are committed to educating our patients and providing personalized eye care services…”  On Wednesday, September 19th Sweet-Obenauf Eye Care saw 12 Trinity Free Clinic patients.  The staff have decided to donate their time to connect with the TFC patients as well as provide free glasses for each person.

For more information about Swee-Obenauf, visit


Lunch and Learn


           At Trinity Free Clinic, we are devoted to our mission statement.  Our goal is to, “…provide quality free medical, dental, and health services with dignity and respect to the uninsured, underinsured, and low income residents of Hamilton County through a professional and dedicated staff and volunteers”.  We want people like you to spread the word about what we do here.  Come to our monthly luncheon to learn everything you need to know to start helping Hamilton County and the neighbors around you.

See you there!

TFC Saves a Patient from Amputation


           Last Monday morning a woman came to Trinity Free Clinic complaining of pain in her ankle. Her ankle was clearly injured and after examining her further, it was decided that she not only had injured her ankle but had an infection that had started in her ankle and was spreading up her leg.

           Before coming to Trinity Free Clinic, the patient was urgently trying to find medication to calm her infection and sooth her pain but couldn’t afford to go to a doctor or pay for a prescription. The cheapest option available to her was to get medication from a veterinarian. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “…many of the drugs used in veterinary medicine are the same as those used in people”. So what was the problem? Even though the ingredients in drugs for animals are often the same as those for humans, there are other factors that set apart animal’s medications from human’s medications. These include differences in dosage, inactive ingredients used, and the proportions of inactive ingredients to active ingredients. Additionally, the veterinarian couldn’t protect the patient against any negative drug interactions between her current medications and the new one being given to her. Any of these reasons could have caused her infection especially when paired with a lack of instruction on how to care for her foot and ankle.

           After finding Trinity Free Clinic and getting examined by our physicians, the patient was immediately sent to the ER. There she was told that if she had waited any longer to find adequate help, her foot would have been amputated. Luckily, Trinity Free Clinic was able to help her get the care and support she needed. Plus, her foot is set for a full recovery!

TFC Would Like to Express Its Gratitude to the Crosser Family Foundation

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The Staff and Volunteers of the Trinity Free Clinic are grateful to the Crosser Family Foundation for including us as one of their beneficiaries with a $2,500 grant.  This grant will provide full medical and dental services at TFC to 25 Hamilton County children from low income families. 

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The Crosser Family Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of youth and their families in the communities that they live by providing them with everyday needs and opportunities to help them achieve a bright future. 

Janet R. Crosser and the late Richard R. Crosser established the Foundation in 2001. Over the years, the Foundation has provided grants totaling over $3 million to community groups, organizations and businesses focused on providing services to enrich the lives of youth and their families in local communities.

You can learn more about the Crosser Family Foundation here:

Partner Spotlight: St. Vincent

“St. Vincent and the Trinity Free Clinic share a common mission: to deliver care to those who need it, regardless of personal means. That's why we have worked together for 15 years to treat the most vulnerable in our community,” said Dina Ferchmin, Executive Director, Trinity Free Clinic. “Not only is St. Vincent an important contributor to our work, but they also assist us daily in connecting patients with primary care and specialty resources which our patients would otherwise not be able to access or afford.  St. Vincent has helped us overcome numerous obstacles over the years to ensure that the uninsured and underinsured working poor of Hamilton County are cared for.  We are extremely grateful for their generous support.”

Hamilton County is among the nation’s most affluent and ranks first in Indiana in terms of average household income, yet pockets of poverty persist in the community. According to the United Way of Central Indiana, one in five Hamilton County families struggle to make ends meet.

St. Vincent's commitment to the working poor of Hamilton County cannot be better demonstrated than in their unfailing support of our patients.  St. Vincent is not only our largest grantor, but they also generously accept about 90% of our patient referrals.  In 2015 alone, we referred nearly 500 patients that required more care than we could offer at the clinic to St. Vincent.  St. Vincent Primary Care provided a place where our patients could receive the personal, individualized care they desperately needed at an affordable reduced rate.

In addition to their sustaining support for both Trinity Free Clinic and our patients, St. Vincent has supported the clinic in more targeted ways as well.  For example, the St. Vincent Carmel emergency room director, Steve Baunach, came in November of 2014 to train our staff about Ebola containment procedures so that we would be prepared in case we had a patient walk in with suspicious symptoms.

One of our most important functions for Hamilton County families is to provide a resource for the pediatric vaccinations that allow children to start school in the fall.  We are able to provide those vaccinations free of cost to low-income families through our participation in the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC).  One of the requirements for participating in VFC is that we must have an emergency back-up storage facility for our stock of vaccines.  St. Vincent Carmel Hospital's partnership makes that possible by allowing us to store our vaccines in their pharmacy facility in case of a power outage or failure of our vaccine refrigerator.

Fortunately, St. Vincent's care for the children of Hamilton County doesn't stop with vaccinations.  We were fortunate enough to have St. Vincent co-sponsor our Car Seat Clinic with Franciscan St. Francis Health, with St. Vincent funding car seats for 51 children.

As part of their ongoing commitment to women's health St. Vincent also provides quarterly mammogram screenings for our Women's Clinic patients with their mobile unit.  This is a vital service for our patients in the Women's Clinic because it provides a unique opportunity for them to receive breast cancer screening that would otherwise be out of reach for them financially.

Finally, St. Vincent has been the title sponsor of our spring fundraising gala for several years.  Fundraisers provide about 35% of the operating budget for the Trinity Free Clinic, and support of the Healing Hands Gala provides a real, tangible support for the services we provide for our patients every day.

“St. Vincent is dedicated to providing spiritually centered, holistic care that sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities, and we are proud to partner with Trinity Free Clinic to fulfill this mission in Hamilton County,” said Janette Helm, Director of Mission Integration, St. Vincent. “We applaud Trinity Free Clinic for its commitment to serving all persons, with special attention to those who are struggling.”

Truly, our mission could not be achieved without the generosity of St. Vincent--from financial support to the support of our patients through referrals.  The patients, volunteers, staff, and board of the Trinity Free Clinic are very grateful for St. Vincent's continued partnership and generosity.

About St.Vincent
St.Vincent is a nonprofit, spiritually-centered health system and a member of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and not-for-profit health system.  St.Vincent is one of Indiana’s largest employers with 22 health ministries serving 57 counties in Central and Southern Indiana.  The 133-year-old health system delivers high quality, compassionate care in service areas such as cardiovascular, womens, childrens, neurosciences, cancer care, orthopedics, bariatrics, primary care, emergency medicine, imaging, general surgery and long-term acute care.  For more information, visit

About Ascension
Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,000 sites of care – including 137 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineerin, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization.

TFC Kicks off Brighter Smiles Campaign

At the Trinity Free Clinic, dental visits account for 40% of our total patient visits.  Since we are the only free dental clinic in Hamilton County, our dental services are an irreplaceable and vital resource to the uninsured and under-insured residents of Hamilton County.  What if we were suddenly unable to care for our patients?

That is the reality the clinic is facing regarding our panoramic x-ray machine.  Our current panoramic x-ray machine still works, but because of its age, parts are no longer available.  We're afraid that our old machine will stop working during one of our busy Saturday morning clinics, and we will not be able to provide care to our patients.

We can purchase a new Planmeca ProMax 2d machine for $50,000 or a used one for about $20,000.  Not only will this machine allow us to image patients for the next 5-10 years, but the images will be significantly better and expose our patients to dramatically less radiation than with our current technology.  To help us raise funds to purchase this vital piece of equipment, we are initiating the Brighter Smiles crowd sourcing campaign.  We are hoping to raise sufficient funds to cover the purchase of the new panoramic x-ray machine by October 17, 2015.  If you would like to learn more about the Brighter Smiles campaign or you would like to donate to help us give our patients "brighter smiles", please go to