ECCO Dental Clinic supports job initiative

  • Tuesday, July 1, 2014

MUSC senior dental student Mathew Keckeinsen treats a patient PROVIDED

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Mother Theresa once said “Let us make one point, that we meet each other with a smile, when it is difficult to smile. Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family.” Since the East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) Dental Clinic opened 23 years ago in June of 1991, our mission has been to enable ECCO's eligible clients the ability to smile. This is accomplished by the collaborative efforts of area dentists, MUSC dental students/residents and auxiliaries who unselfishly donate their time and talents to enable those in need to create a better future for themselves.

The advent of the job-readiness initiative ECCO Works is especially important to the dental clinic staff and volunteers. This new program offers a sustainable approach to poverty elimination. Incorporating job preparedness, case management, skills training, and help with job placement, the goal of ECCO Works is to work with program participants to help them get a job and keep it for one year, while striving to advance into a career where livable wages can be earned. More information is available on our website, www.eccocharleston.org in the Empowerment Program subsection.

Enabling these ECCO clients to eliminate generational poverty often times means providing them a healthy smile. An unhealthy smile is often cause for low self-esteem and can be a significant barrier to acceptance in the workplace. A healthy smile gives these clients the self-confidence to move forward in both the job interview and placement processes.

South Carolina licensed dentists provide critical care to East Cooper residents living in poverty Monday through Thursday during the day, and Tuesday and Thursday evenings. More than 7,000 dental procedures are performed throughout the year at ECCO's facility, which is home to a state-of-the-art four-chair dental clinic. Area dentists are encouraged to volunteer several hours a month to help your underserved neighbors at the East Cooper Community Outreach Dental Clinic (Six Mile Road in Mount Pleasant).

To lend a helping hand, please contact Ms. Leslie White at lwhite@ECCOcharleston.org or call 843-416-7115 or 843-343-2984.

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