Not many people jump for joy at the thought of going to the dentist. But when Jodie Tyler heard about the new dental clinic at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, she could hardly wait to make an appointment.
Jodi, who lives with her sister, Julie, and brother-in-law, Bill, has Multiple Sclerosis. Now dependent on a wheelchair, her mobility is limited. “Getting Jodi out of her wheelchair and into a dental chair would be impossible in a traditional dental office,” Julie says. “This new clinic is an amazing gift St. Ann Center is giving to the community.”
The Gardetto Family Community Dental Clinic specifically serves St. Ann Center clients and members of the community of all ages who have moderate to severe physical or cognitive disabilities. “For years, Jodi and I have searched for in-home dentists and clinics that serve special needs, and we ended up frustrated,” Julie says. “The closest place that could accommodate Jodi was in Madison and had a long waiting list.”
Jodi regularly comes to St. Ann Center’s Stein Campus for whirlpool baths and massage. Laura Cherek, director of dental care at St. Ann Center, has also worked with Jodi, giving her tips on brushing.
“When Laura told us about the new dental clinic, Jodi got the biggest smile on her face,” Julie recalls. Equipped with a Hoyer lift, the clinic’s dentist and hygienist can comfortably help Jodi into the chair.
“We’re excited to be able to fill this huge gap by providing dental care to the people who need it the most,” Laura says. The clinic, set to open in spring, has the capacity to serve 50 clients per week.
Read all the inspiring stories from our joyful intergenerational community in the April-June Issue of our Seasons of Life Newsletter.