‘Earn Your Smile’ Mission Trips Define Dental Specialist Docs
By Maria Sonnenberg, Space Coast Medicine // February 22, 2013
“It was the most fantastic experience. We got more out of it than they did.”
BREVARD CLUNTY, FLORIDA – Dr. Paul Ouellette makes the charitable aspect of paying it forward a part of his practice.
For his motivation, he only has to look one generation back, as Dr. Ouellette credits his mother, Lanette, with starting the tradition of service in the family.
“We are all blessed with good health and have been afforded the opportunity to be professionally educated,” siad Dr. Ouellette. “Each year our family goes on one or more healthcare missions outside the USA.”
Now the Space Coast orthodontist is traveling to Ecuador on medical missions, and launching a program he hopes his sons will help him carry out.
“In 2008 we traveled to the remote village Cayambe, Ecuador to serve 395 patients,” said Dr. Ouellette. “Our medical and dental team plans to return every year to serve another village near Quito, Ecuador.
Dr. Ouellette’s son, Dr. Jason Ouellette, graduated from UOP San Francisco and joined his father and the SIFAT mission team to return to Quito, Ecuador where the mission team served more than 450 patients.
Earn Your Smile
After two mission trips to Ecuador, Ouellette launched Earn Your Smile to help those in this country who need financial help for orthodontic work. In addition to helping the charitable organizations obtain volunteers, the program seeks to instill a desire to volunteer in the young.
Volunteers must fill out the vouchers and answer questions about what the experience meant to them.
“Earn Your Smile, the effort is an attempt to help patients get braces even if their families have trouble affording them,” said Dr. Ouellette.
Children can perform up to 100 hours of community service, preapproved by Dr. Ouellette’s office. The charity must sign a voucher, printed out by the patient, to verify the work was done.
The patient then turns in those vouchers and gets $12 of orthodontic work for every community service hour. The Dental Specialists office subtracts the credits from the patient’s bill.
Dr. Ouellette started the program in January 2010 and plans to do even more of his work pro bono as his sons can join the practice to keep the business running. Both Drs. Jason and Jonathan Ouellette are studying orthodontics, and Ouellete’s daughter, Danielle, is in a predentistry program.
Dr. Ouellette hopes other practices nationwide adopt the Earn Your Smile program.
For more information log on to EarnYourSmile.org